Munich

50 years of Vorsprung durch Technik

Good technique is everything. That is the case for the car industry as well as for the business of football. Technique is the basic framework of success. The slogan Audi introduced around 50 years ago, ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, stands for the rise of the Audi brand and for an explosion of brilliant innovations that turned the automotive group into a world leader.

07/07/2021 Reading Time: 3 min

A programmatic message that is also applicable to our partner Bayern Munich football club. Without the technical foundation, the ball skills acquired through training, you don’t become a successful footballer; without the knowledge of how to build up young footballers in a targeted way, you don’t become a successful football club. The future begins in the past. And here the two global brands, Audi and FC Bayern Munich, set the course for later successes at any early stage. Always be ahead of the curve – an aspiration that unites both companies to this day.

We spoke to three former players from the Bavarian championship record holders about their careers, the supporters and how ‘Technik’ applies to football.

Martin Demichelis: tough-as-nails defender

Martin Demichelis has experienced a great deal in his career: more than 250 games for FC Bayern as a central defender and defensive midfielder, winning several Bundesliga Championship titles; he also won the English Premier League with Manchester City and was World Cup runner-up with Argentina. Pep Guardiola, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Louis van Gaal: he has seen great coaches come and go – and has performed under each of them. A quiet and level-headed character who turned into a tough-as-nails defender on the field. He has remained loyal to his favourite club to this day. Since 2019 Demichelis has been coaching FC Bayern’s U19s. In the 2021/22 season he will be head coach for the Bayern Reserves. His mission is to give the young players new inspiration, to improve them technically and to get across to them the meaning of the club’s motto ‘Mia san Mia’ – that if you want to win, you have to work hard for it.

Martin Demichelis

In your view, how has the position of coach changed in the last few years, from the start of your career until now?
Martin Demichelis:  In the past, the coach had to take care of everything: physical preparation, education, nutrition, analysis. Today a lot is done for you. Above all you need to be an emphatic leader and create a good atmosphere in the team.

 

Taking ‘Technik’ in the truest sense of the word: what technology do you use today as a coach?
Martin Demichelis:
We’re in the technological age and even football has got there. Currently we use GPS to improve physical performance and minimise risk of injury. We also rely on analysis systems to improve our game and to learn more details and information about our opponents.

 

What challenges do you see for coaches in the future?
Martin Demichelis:
Nowadays, young people often invest more time in school than in sport, yet still want to get fast and good results. As a coach, you have the task of providing young players with concepts and supporting their development with a lot of patience.

What does ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ mean to you personally in terms of football?
Martin Demichelis:
Technical progress helps us above all with the individual development of our players – today we can manage the development processes, whether for the team or for individual players, much more precisely and efficiently. Only those who are also up to date technically can be successful in the long term.

 

Audi is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ this year. What congratulatory message would you like to give to Audi?
Martin Demichelis:
I’d like to congratulate Audi on its exceptional position in the car industry! For me, Audi is an important companion in my daily life. Personally, I love driving my Audi every day to training sessions at the FC Bayern campus – it’s just great fun!

“Only those who are also up to date technically can be successful in the long term.”

— Martin Demichelis

Raimond Aumann: businesslike professional

It’s an impressive collection of trophies that Raimond Aumann won and worked for in his time as a goalkeeper: DFB-Pokal (German FA knockout cup competition) winner and six times Bundesliga Champions with FC Bayern, Turkish Champions with Beşiktaş Istanbul and a member of Germany’s World Cup squad in 1990. A great career, based on a totally professional attitude, unbridled ambition and a lot of talent. Although at 1.82 m (5 ft 11½ in) tall, Aumann did not necessarily have the height required to be a goalkeeper, he could certainly do the job. He was considered a safe pair of hands, with lightning-fast reactions. His goalkeeping game was a reflection of his character: quiet and businesslike.

Raimond Aumann

How has the position of goalkeeper changed over the years?
Raimond Aumann:
The status is greater. Every keeper now has his own goalkeeper trainer. That wasn’t the case in my day at the start of the 80s. Today a keeper can train individually and go over his strengths and weaknesses with the trainer – day after day.

 

In terms of ‘Technik’ and new rules: what are the most important changes from a goalkeeper’s point of view?
Raimond Aumann:
The elimination of the back-pass rule, as well as the changed offside rule. Suddenly it was realised that the goalkeeper is not only a goalkeeper but that he must also be able to kick the ball. You see it in Manuel Neuer. He creates openings for the players, acts as a kind of ‘sweeper-keeper’, and consequently he can have much more influence on the game.

 

What were the greatest challenges during your career as a keeper?
Raimond Aumann:
To ‘replace’ Bayern’s then world-class keeper Jean-Marie Pfaff, that was my greatest challenge. My two severe knee injuries were my second biggest challenge. Fighting back after those to reach a certain level of play again, that was a tough road.

 

Do you think that the support of the fans will always be the basis for a football club to continue to grow and develop?
Raimond Aumann:
I’ve benefited a great deal from the fans and I’m grateful for that. In my current role, I can give something back to the fans. As Bayern’s Supporters and Fan Club Coordinator, I act as the link between the team and the board.

Speaking of support by fans… does it help a team to progress, does the team grow as a result? How do you see the position of the fan?
Raimond Aumann:
Fans are the most important benefit for any club. We’ve just experienced through the pandemic how much we miss our fans. You miss the emotion, the passion, the whole shebang – you miss the stadium experience.

 

What does ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ mean to you personally when it comes to football?
Raimond Aumann: That today we invest more in our Youth Academy, particularly in the area of trainer education. So we’re able to teach the players the necessary technique at an early stage, because if you learn a technique when you’re young, you certainly have a head start, a ‘Vorsprung’, later on.

 

Audi is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ this year. What congratulatory message would you like to give to Audi?
Raimond Aumann: With Audi we have a fantastic partner. Two great companies have found each other to their mutual benefit. That’s why I would like this collaboration, this partnership, to last for decades.

“If you learn a technique when you’re young, you certainly have a head start later on.”

— Raimond Aumann

Claudio Pizarro: brilliant striker

Claudio Pizarro is unquestionably one of most brilliant personalities in the history of the Bundesliga. His record speaks for itself: he is the foreign player with the most games played, the oldest player to score a goal in the Bundesliga, the first player in Bundesliga history to have scored at least one goal in 21 calendar years in succession and also the record goal scorer for Werder Bremen. With FC Bayern he won the triple in 2013. His laid-back manner on and off the field made him an international crowd pleaser, beyond the boundaries of club patriotism.

Claudio Pizarro

In your view, how has the position of striker changed over the years – from the start of your career through to, for example, Robert Lewandowski today?
Claudio Pizarro: Robert is something special (laughs). I think a lot depends on what plan the coaches have, what system they want to play. For example, in the past we often played with two strikers. Nowadays, they usually play with only one main striker. The centre forward position is very important because one has to stand in the box, after all that’s where the balls come.

 

How important was ‘Technik’ in helping you to outwit the defenders, get in the right position and ultimately score a goal?
Claudio Pizarro:
If you have a good technique, you can kick balls with the outside or the inside of your boot. You have a lot more options and can therefore score more goals.

 

How did you manage to always be at the forefront as a professional footballer for 24 years? What advice would you give to young players that has NOTHING to do with football?
Claudio Pizarro:
I was lucky in that I was fairly well versed in technique even as a young player. And, of course, I practised a lot, in keeping with the saying ‘Practice makes perfect’. And if you always train well, then you can also maintain your level for a long time. Of course, in the last years of my playing career I paid a lot of attention to my nutrition and fitness and that also played an important role.

What advice do you have for young players on how they can effectively progress?
Claudio Pizarro: Football is highly competitive. You have to work really hard on yourself to be able to play football at a good level. What’s more, you need to pay attention to a lot of details: fitness, mental strength, technique, simply everything.

 

What does ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ mean to you personally in terms of football?
Claudio Pizarro: You can achieve a lot through technique. But you must always keep working on your technique. My successes as a striker are based on the absolute will to constantly improve myself. My technique helped me to score a lot of goals and to achieve what I wanted to achieve.

 

Audi is celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ this year. What congratulatory message would you like to give to Audi?
Claudio Pizarro: I can only say, hats off to what you do! You do it very well, so keep it up. And, of course, congratulations on 50 years of good ‘Technik’!

“If you have a good technique, you can kick balls with the outside or the inside of your boot. You have a lot more options and can therefore score more goals.”

— Claudio Pizarro

Shaped by progress
Shaped by progress

Shaped by progress

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