Giving credit where respect is due: Werder’s DFB-Pokal winners from 1994 and 2009 were celebrated once again during Fans’ Day. The legends from both victories were honoured on stage to mark the 25- and 10-year anniversaries of their achievements. Afterwards, the plan for the night included a party for the players, coaches and executives.
The evening’s schedule agreed with Werder’s 1994 Pokal winners, as former captain and current U23 assistant coach Mirko Votava confirmed. “We had a lot of fun back then and we’re always up to go out after the game,” the 1980 European champion said with a wink. “We sure had a great group back then.”
Mario Basler, who spent three seasons with Werder, could always be counted on for a wild tale. “He got up to some crazy things, some of which he kept a secret, others he didn’t,” said legendary coach Otto Rehhagel, who also won the 1994 DFB-Pokal with Werder. “But, he was an exceptional player with an exceptional shot, which is why we let some things slide.”
A cheerful Rehhagel, together with his trainee and later successor Thomas Schaaf, helped bridge the gap between the club’s two successes being celebrated at the Osterdeich on Saturday. “Back then he was already working to replace me eventually,” said Rehhagel, drawing a wave of laughter from the crowd and those on stage.
Werder’s 1-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2009 DFB-Pokal final was also part of the celebrations. “It’s a sign of a team’s quality when they are able to party during the season and then really ramp it up again after such a victory,” former captain and current Werder sporting director Frank Baumann.
That drew laughs from more recent icons in Werder’s history, such as Per Mertesacker, Daniel Jensen, Jurica Vranjes, Markus Rosenberg and Boubacar Sanogo, who were able to return for a visit after a lengthy absence. For many former players in attendance, the anniversary celebrations were a welcome show of appreciation for the success. The mood during the celebrations last night was certainly just as merry as during those that took place 25 and 10 years ago respectively.