Völler’s love affair with the Curva Sud
April 13, 1960, Hanau (West Germany)
Rudi Völler is born
Roma have always been the team that fights, that gives everything, that bleeds for the shirt. And in this regard, Rudi Völler was the consummate Giallorossi player. Not just a great striker, not just a coach, not just a Champions League and World Cup winner: Völler was a Roma man through and through.
He was a humble player, whose talent often carried the Giallorossi at a time when the side rarely measured up to the legendary German. Völler was a striker of impossible goals, of chipped penalties, of instinctive celebrations in front of the Curva Sud.
He didn’t conquer the world with Roma (though the Giallorossi were only denied UEFA Cup glory in 1990-91 by the width of a post), but Völler certainly conquered the hearts of the Roma fans and, above all, the diehards in the Curva Sud.
The list of magical moments is endless: His hat-trick in Brussels against Anderlecht, his masterpiece against Fiorentina in the first match at the new Stadio Olimpico, his vital goal two minutes before the end of the UEFA Cup 1990-91 semi-final against Brondby, his goal in the 1991 Coppa Italia final against Samp to give Flora Viola her first silverware as Roma president.
Born in Hanau, West Germany, Rudolf Völler joined Roma from Werder Bremen by will of Giallorossi president Dino Viola. In fact, had it not been for Dino Viola, Völler could have had a much shorter career in the Italian capital. Völler had a tough first season in Rome, scoring just three league goals, and was enduring a similarly testing start to his second term.
Yet stay he did. And though he may not have won a hatful of trophies with Roma, he certainly did win the undying admiration of the Giallorossi faithful. Völler, of course, went on to lift the World Cup with West Germany at Italia ’90, with the final taking place in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, no less.
Völler left Roma for Marseilles in 1992, winning the Champions League in his first season with the French club. If there was any doubting his affinity with the Giallorossi, Völler showed just how fiercely his love for the club burned by dedicated the triumph to the Roma fans live on television.
The Giallorossi fans will perhaps remember Völler for one goal in particular, scored at the Stadio Flaminio due to the work going on at the Stadio Olimpico ahead of the approaching World Cup. It came on March 18, 1990. The opponents? Lazio. The scoreline? 0-1 Roma. That goal alone was enough to ensure lifelong cult status for one of the greatest players ever to celebrate in front of the Curva Sud.