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Steffan Effenberg is set to return to the German national team just three weeks after Rudi Voeller took over the hot seat. After a three hour meeting on Friday in Munich, Effenberg surprisingly announced that a comeback to the national team could be possible.

He said: "The things Rudi told me, gave the impulse to think about the new situation. But that is not a decision I will make within one hour. My wife Martina would have nothing against a return to the national team."

The 31-year-old already stepped back two times from the national team. The first time in 1994 during the World Cup in the United States and the second time in 1998 after a very short comeback of two matches during a Malta-trip.

But now Voeller, who played 10 times alongside with Effenberg in the national team, seems to have found some arguments to change Effenberg's mind.

He said: "Of course Stefan had some doubts. He is a special case, but he doesn't get any privileges. I hope he will make up his mind by Wednesday."

At a press conference called on Monday, Effenberg said of his possible comeback.

"It's no secret that Rudi Voeller and me always understood each other very well. We are both on the same wave-length. On Friday we talked about God and the World and, of course, also about the national team. I will make up my mind by Wednesday, but I need some time for reflection."

Before his decision will be made, Effenberg wants to talk with Bayern manager Ottmar Hitzfeld about a comeback.

He said: "After this I will call Rudi and then follow a clear line to avoid any speculation."

Bayern colleague Thomas Strunz liked the idea of an Effenberg comeback. He said : "In Germany we don't have an alternative for Stefan. During Euro 2000 we saw that we need a dominant figure in midfield very urgently."

"Stefan showed here in Munich that is the best midfielder we have in Germany right now. His comeback would be the best that can happen for our national team."
 

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Effenberg rules out Germany comeback


By Reuters, 2000-07-26


BERLIN, July 26 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich midfielder and captain Stefan Effenberg said on Wednesday he had turned down an offer by Germany's coach Rudi Voeller to resume his international career.

"The next internationals will take place without me," the 31-year-old told a news conference at Bayern's training camp in Friedewald.

"A return to the national team would not make sense. There's too much speaking against it." Effenberg, who won 35 caps, was axed by Germany for making an obscene gesture at fans during the 1994 World Cup. Returning in 1998, he retired after just two matches, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and concentrate on club football.

Calls for his return intensified after Germany failed to move past the group stage at Euro 2000 last month.

Voeller, who replaced Erich Ribbeck as head coach immediately after the team's shock elimination, approached Effenberg and asked him to reconsider his decision not to play for Germany again.

Once the enfant terrible of German soccer, Effenberg has mellowed over the years and, while retaining his creative skills, matured into a natural leader.

Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld recently called him the best midfielder in the world.

Such a player could only interest Voeller, who faces a daunting task in having to qualifiy the ailing soccer giants for the 2002 World Cup.

The two had a lenghty meeting on Friday and Voeller did his best to persuade Effenberg.

"For a short while I considered coming back but in the end I decided it would not be reasonable," Effenberg said on Wednesday.

"I took the decision with my mind, not with my heart," he added. "I need time to recuperate and my family has to come first."

Voeller said he respected Effenberg's decision.

"It really is a pity but I fully understand it," the former Germany striker said. "From my time as a player I am fully aware how difficult it can be to bear a heavy schedule, especially for players of a certain age."
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I think this is really a shame. It seems like playing for your country means nothing anymore, the only thing that counts is to get paid by your club.
Effenberg is currently one of the best german players, so I´d say it´s his duty to play for his country!
 
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It's sad. he's a brilliant player. :)
I think he would have been a very creative hand in the German midfield, it would have helped especially now since there is so little of it. :(

I can't beleive he has won only 35 caps for Germany. Other veterans like Hassler 100+, Helmer 90+, Moller, 80+, and Reuter, Kohler, Klinsmann, all won so many caps, but Effenberg only played a hand-ful of times for Germany comapred to them.

I don't think he played in the 1990 WC, but he did play in EURO 92, scoring against Scotland, and as we know got expelled after the match with South Korea in the 1994 WC and since then has never played for Germany again, thus no major tournaments either. :(
 

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It's sad, really :( Especially that for a moment I actually thought that he might just come back. After Klinsmann was gone, it seems like there is a gap to fill. Germany is at a low ebb now and I really believe that Effenberg may be just the right man.
But it's not to be.
Can Germany do something in time for the WC 2002 qualification? I hope Voeller can think of some alternatives...
And yeah, Effenberg hadn't been with Germany in 1990. Too yong! Back then there were players like Klinsi, Voeller, Buchwald, Riedle, Augenthaler, Illgner, Littbarski, Brehme, etc...and also someone who won the Player of the Year award :rolleyes:
 
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