Oliver Bierhoff knew how to market himself as a player and he knows how to market the national team today.
The striker, who played on the German national soccer team from 1996 to 2002, scored the title winning “golden goal” 20 years ago in the Euro 1996 final.
In an interview with Handelsblatt, before Sunday’s match against Ukraine, which the Germans won 2-0, the friendly, straight-talking team manager talked about the many changes and challenges afoot in professional soccer today and also shared this views on politics and his possible plans for the future.
Handelsblatt: Mr. Bierhoff, you want to make a brand out of the German national team. What does it stand for today?
Oliver Bierhoff: For fairness, diversity and tolerance. But also for commitment and the will to win. The national team has always stood for something. For example, when the German team was allowed to compete in the 1954 World Cup, there was a feeling, “We are somebody again!” With the 1990 world championship, it was a feeling of greater strength immediately before unification. And the 2014 World Cup showed a completely new image of German players, some of them with immigrant backgrounds. The national team is Germany’s darling.