His tears after the “Four minute championship” in 17 years ago are unforgettable, as was the UEFA Cup victory in 1997: Rudi Assauer was a maker and soul of the FC Schalke 04. Now the Ex-Manager, passed away after a long illness.
His Name is forever linked inextricably with FC Schalke 04. In the past few decades, no one coined the tradition club from the area as sustainably as Rudi Assauer. “Without these Fans, without Tradition, without religious-like admiration, would this club dead already. This is the philosophy of Schalke 04,” said Assauer. And described so vividly, what the football club meant.
To was already during his lifetime, he as a powerful Manager, the considered Schalke as his life’s work, a Royal blue legend. Now Rudolf “Rudi” Assauer, who had suffered for years from Alzheimer’s, died on Wednesday at the age of 74 years. This has been confirmed by the German press Agency from circles of the family.
From crisis to success
“Either I manage Schalke or Schalke get me” is one of the most famous phrases Assauers. In retrospect, one can say that he has managed to Schalke. In two terms (1981 to 1986 and 1993 to 2006) he was a total of 18 years for the turf club as a Manager. The big success came, however, when the then-President Günter Eichberg brought in the highest Emergency in April 1993. Schalke was financially at the bottom, it is the license threatened withdrawal. In painstaking work, Assauer and his colleagues on the Board, recovered in the following years, the confidence of the banks and sponsors, and thus laid the Foundation for later athletic success.
In the season 1995/1996 the Team with coach Jörg Berger made a League-third of the way into the UEFA Cup. And Assauer was the first, winning the European Cup-round against Roda Kerkrade the ultimate Coup: In a night and fog action, he convinced the then unknown coach Huub Stevens to switch from Kerkrade to Schalke. Stevens asked Assauer at the time, to meet him in a secret Mission. “Then Rudi drove up in a car with the Gelsenkirchen-based indicator and Schalke sticker,” said Stevens, laughing.
The thing with the “football-God”
Manager and coach: Assauer, and Stevens
With the gnarled low countries and whose Motto (“The Zero must stand”) conquered the “Eurofighter” to Olaf Thon and Marc Wilmots, the European stages. The flight ended with the legendary UEFA Cup victory at Inter Milan on 21. May 1997 – until today the biggest success in the club’s history and a milestone. Almost the biggest dream come true, as Schalke, in 2001, shortly before winning the eighth German championship, before Bayern Munich snatch the Royal Blues to the title with the 1:1 compensation in injury time in Hamburg.
The tears after the last game in the stadium, as Fans and players stormed to the victory against Unterhaching is already the place and the supposed title celebrated, went around the world. The “master of the heart” were born, however, Assauer said at the press conference, bitterly: “I no longer believe in the God of football.”
“Just the bulb”
A week after the low point, the Team won the DFB-Cup, the following year, the Royal Blues were able to repeat the Triumph in Berlin. In the victory rush Assauer was once the “pot” traps, and the piece had to be carefully restored. As a legacy behind Assauer also left his “Baby”, the Schalke-Arena. The state of the art stadium with a retractable lawn, and a roof was inaugurated in August 2001.
With the exchange of Stevens for Hertha in the summer of 2002, the successful time was drawing to a close. Later it came to a rift with the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Clemens Tönnies, and the other members of the Board. Long ago there were the first signs of Assauers disease, which he ignored, but then glossed over. “You don’t want it to be true. If there is one thing in the world I’ve always been scared, really Scared, in plain English, Alzheimer’s disease,” he confessed later. “No, not the bulb.”
He forgot appointments and couldn’t remember certain things. As they wanted to deport him as a “Breakfast Director” and “Grüßaugust”, as he felt it, for the presidency, he refused. 17. In may 2006, he came his dismissal by the Supervisory Board previously and resigned as Manager. The end of an Era! In 2012, he made his disease public, also in the biography “How to replace the fading memories of my life” and a TV documentary.
sw/jhr (dpa, sid)