A year ago, Andreas Rettig was described by Uli Hoeneß as the “king of the hypocrites”, now he is supposed to lead German football back to its former glory. With the appointment of the controversial official as sports director, the German Football Association caused a big surprise.

In the midst of the “biggest crisis in the recent past” (not just for Matthias Sammer) and the tricky search for a new national coach, the association is relying on Rettig, who is very experienced but not always willing to compromise, as the strongest man in operational business.

Rettig will be responsible for the national teams and academy in the future and will succeed Oliver Bierhoff, who had to vacate his post after the World Cup debacle, nine months before the home European Championship. DFB President Bernd Neuendorf says that the 60-year-old, with his style, is exactly the right person for the complex task: “In Andreas Rettig, we have gained an extremely experienced, committed and assertive managing director.” “A strong personality” is required to carry out the various administrative tasks relating to the national teams and the academy. On Monday (12:00 p.m.) Neuendorf and Rettig will speak further at a press conference on the DFB campus.

Also Alexander Wehrle, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DFB GmbH

Experienced manager

Rettig has been working in football for almost four decades; from 2013 to 2015 he was managing director of the German Football League. The football teacher was also a manager at Bayer Leverkusen, SC Freiburg, 1. FC Köln and FC Augsburg and acted as managing director at FC St. Pauli and chairman of the board at Viktoria Köln. He wants to help “make future successes for the national teams possible again and improve the direction of the DFB and the appearance of its teams in all directions.”

It should come as no surprise that he will put his finger on the wound. In the recent past, Rettig had not spared criticism of the DFB. “At some point, German football missed the opportunity to turn the lever,” he told the online portal “Watson” in mid-August. The association had “put things off for too long” when it came to youth work, added the former chairman of the commission when introducing the youth performance centers.

Rettig rarely keeps his opinions quiet, even if it sometimes gets him into trouble. In September 2022, he and Bayern Munich’s honorary president Uli Hoeneß had a verbal altercation. Rettig had sharply criticized the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar in the Sport1 program “Doppelpass”, which is why Hoeneß, who spontaneously joined the program by telephone, called him the “king of the hypocrites”. Rettig countered and called Hoeneß a “Qatar lobbyist.”

Rettig wanted to largely boycott the World Cup in Qatar, which has been criticized by human rights organizations, and instead “go to the bars that implement the slogan “No Qatar in my bar””. He probably can’t afford such a strict attitude anymore.

Rettig asked as crisis manager

In his management position, Rettig is formally introduced to the sports directors Rudi Völler (men’s national team) and Hannes Wolf (young talent, training and development). The DFB left it open in its press release to what extent he is already involved in the search for a new national coach. But Rettig is also in demand as a crisis manager for the women’s national team, which also failed in the group phase of the World Cup a few weeks ago and is currently without national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who is ill.

Former world footballer Nadine Keßler was also a candidate to succeed Bierhoff. However, the head of department at the European Football Union said she “withdrew from the talks” last week in order to “wholeheartedly continue” her current role at UEFA. The DFB announced that the decision by the supervisory board and the shareholders’ meeting in favor of Rettig was unanimous.