Rummenigge, Germany and the World Cup without Italy: «Without the Azzurri, it’s a loss for everyone»

from Paolo Tomaselli, sent to Doha

Germany-Japan seen by Rummenigge: «Muller is a coach on the field, we travel with the lights off and we aim to surprise. Favorite is Neymar’s Brazil»

He played more world finals (eight) winning four titles, Karl Heinz Rummenigge played and lost two finals.

orn eight finals are you the real “country of football”?

«We were famous for always going ahead in tournaments for our mentality, even without playing well. In Russia it was the worst World Cup in our history».

Who wins this time?

«One between Brazil and Argentina, beyond the shock debut, perhaps more the Brazilians. If Neymar plays like in PSG it will be hard for everyone. Germany starts with the lights off and this may also be the surprise: Musiala is 18 years old, he is a natural talent, he moves in an exceptional way ».

His first worldwide memory?

«The third goal of the 1966 final against the English, which wasn’t there and was validated. Today with technology it would be known in an instant, while I still remember everyone’s anger towards the Russian linesman».

Still a boy, you arrive in Bayern of the sacred monsters, Müller and Beckenbauer, champions of everything. Have you felt the weight of that generation?
“Perhaps that was the strongest Germany ever, champion of Europe and the world, with Bayern dominating: but it was a source of inspiration, not pressure.”

With Flick, after twelve years of Low, have things improved?

«Yes, winning the 2014 World Cup complicated things, Low had to renew the team, but gratitude prevailed, as often happens».

Flick was deputy at Bayern. Was it his bet?

«Yes, we were seventh when he took over and in the end we won six trophies out of six. After two defeats he was a bit perplexed and I told him something I learned from Guardiola: what matters is the quality of football you produce. It was important for him.”

Does Pep influence the whole movement in which he works?

“Yes, it is. Even if Van Gaal had already laid the foundations for us».

In 1982 against Italy in the final, did you ever get the impression you could win?

«Honestly no, we were a little cooked. And then you could feel the energy and spirit of the Italians, carried along by fifty thousand fans. I told Littbarski not to cry: when the other team is stronger you have to accept it».

Wasn’t Argentina in 1986?

“No, not in the final. And indeed I was angry. We came from behind two goals and made the mistake of looking for the third without waiting for extra time. We made a mistake, me on the pitch and Beckenbauer on the bench. But Maradona deserved that World Cup, which he played like God. His goal against the English remains the best ever ».

Between one World Cup and another, Gerd Müller and Paolo Rossi left: were they the strongest pure strikers?

«Unique: when they didn’t score they were the worst on the pitch, but how many times have their teams saved! Their goals seemed easy, they didn’t shoot hard, they placed the ball with innate intelligence, always anticipating the defender, even if they weren’t physically beasts».

This will be the last World Cup of Messi and Ronaldo who have overshadowed two generations of champions, a unique fact in history.

“Maradona was dominant, but not for that long. Today footballers are better trained, cared for and fed».

Is the leader of Germany still Thomas Müller?

«Yes, also because he speaks for 90′. We won everything also thanks to him, a coach on the pitch».

Two World Cups without Italy, what’s more the European champions, how do you explain them?

Nobody understands it, already one was more than enough. Italy is among the greatest teams in the world and that flag is a serious lack: it is damaging for your country, but also for all of football».

Is it just a coincidence that when you won the World Cup you never met the Azzurri?

“I do not know. Platini said it’s not a coincidence.”

She made her debut at Argentina ’78. What was the weather like?

“We knew nothing of the dictatorship. Years later I watched many films and documentaries to understand. And I was scared.”

German football is one of the most sensitive to the question of rights not respected in Qatar, what do you think?

«In 2010, when the Cup was awarded, nobody complained. Doing it twelve years later doesn’t make much sense to me. But I don’t criticize the critics, the question is complicated, and it is right that everyone has his vision ».

Does the economic crisis in Barcelona and Juve show that the Superlega was the move of desperation?

“Yes, there is no other reason. And the amateurish way they presented it also proves it. The Champions League remains the most loved competition. I didn’t understand why someone like Andrea Agnelli, who always gave me the impression of being intelligent, acted like this. I read that football is sick, but thanks to whom? Thanks to him too.”

But City and PSG have drugged the market with money from foreign states.

«Of course, the market is getting out of control every year. Bayern has a different philosophy, always with a positive balance for thirty years».

How you do it?

«Easy: we want to win but without asking the banks for money, following the German mentality. We invest what we earn. And the fans have a responsibility, even financial, in the clubs».

The CEO of the Super League, the German Reichardt, do you know him?

«He was CEO of Rtl. But regardless of the decisions of December 15 (the opinion of the European Court of Justice will be published ed) the Super League is dead: no German, English or French will ever do it».

Are you putting your hand on the fire on the Italians?

«I know Marotta well and I know that he would like to earn something more. But at what price?’

November 23, 2022 (change November 23, 2022 | 07:11)

Rummenigge, Germany and the World Cup without Italy: «Without the Azzurri, it’s a loss for everyone»