Sunday , September 25 2022

DFL Ehrenpreis honorary awards for Prof. Dr. Tim Meyer & Rudi Völler!

This year’s recipients of the “DFL Ehrenpreis” are Prof. Dr. Tim Meyer (54) and Rudi Völler (62). By resolution of its Executive Committee, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga is thus acknowledging the two individuals for their outstanding achievements.

Völler won the 1990 FIFA World Cup as a player, scored 132 goals in 232 Bundesliga matches, led the German team to the final of the 2002 FIFA World Cup as manager, and has been an esteemed ambassador of German professional football for decades. Up to the end of last season, he spent many years in top roles at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

As head of the Sports Medicine / Special Match Operations Task Force, Prof. Dr. Meyer played a fundamental role in ensuring that the Bundesliga, the first top football league to return, and the Bundesliga 2 were able to continue and complete the interrupted 2019-20 season in May 2020, after an enforced 66-day break due to the coronavirus pandemic. He now also leads the “Medicine in Professional Football” working group, which the DFL has since made a permanent fixture.

Since 2007, the following 13 people have received the “DFL Ehrenpreis” (formerly the “Bundesliga-Ehrenpreis”): The recently deceased Uwe Seeler; Jupp Heynckes; Ottmar Hitzfeld; Udo Lattek (who died in 2015); Horst Hrubesch; Karl-Heinz Körbel; Heribert Bruchhagen; Dr. Fritz Pleitgen (former Director General of TV channel WDR); posthumously, Karl-Heinz Heimann (former editor-in-chief and publisher of “kicker” magazine); and at the previous General Assembly in Berlin in 2019, Lothar Matthäus, Wolfgang Overath, Claudio Pizarro and Otto Rehhagel.

Prof. Dr. Meyer received his award on Tuesday, the evening before the DFL General Assembly, in the “Goldsaal” of the Westfalenhallen Congress Centre in Dortmund, which 60 years ago was the historic venue for the founding of the Bundesliga at the Bundestag of the German Football Association (DFB) on 28 July 1962. Völler was unable to attend the event for personal reasons. He will receive the award in person – together with laudatory speaker Otto Rehhagel (84), who trained Völler at SV Werder Bremen for many years – in the near future.

In his laudatory speech for Prof. Dr. Meyer, Thomas Hitzlsperger (40), long-standing international player and, until last spring, CEO of VfB Stuttgart, outlined Meyer’s achievements: that German professional football was able to resume match operations thanks to the Task Force’s medical and hygiene-related occupational health and safety concept “seems, in hindsight, like a miracle,” said Hitzlsperger. “To put it plainly, Tim Meyer saved football at that time.” Hitzlsperger first got to know the team doctor of the national team during his time as a player for Germany. On the resumption of German professional football in May 2020, Hitzlsperger said: “Perhaps it is only after some time has passed that we can truly comprehend what a huge achievement it was to get the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 playing again.”

All DFL Ehrenpreisträger (Honorary Award recipients): Heribert Bruchhagen, Karl-Heinz Heimann, Jupp Heynckes, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Horst Hrubesch, Karl-Heinz Körbel, Udo Lattek, Lothar Matthäus, Prof. Dr. Tim Meyer, Wolfgang Overath, Claudio Pizarro, Dr. Fritz Pleitgen, Otto Rehhagel, Uwe Seeler, Rudi Völler

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