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Rudolf "Rudi" Assauer (30 April 1944 – 6 February 2019) was a German football player and manager.[1] After his professional career for Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen, Assauer served as the general manager of Schalke 04 for many years.

Rudi Assauer
Schalke Assauer0.jpg
Personal information
Full name Rudolf Assauer
Date of birth (1944-04-30)30 April 1944
Place of birth Sulzbach-Altenwald, Germany
Date of death 6 February 2019(2019-02-06) (aged 74)
Place of death Herten, Germany
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1952–1963 SpVgg Herten
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1964 SpVgg Herten 35 (7)
1964–1970 Borussia Dortmund 121 (8)
1970–1976 Werder Bremen 186 (4)
Total 342 (19)
Teams managed
1978–1979 Werder Bremen (joint interim)
1980 Werder Bremen (joint interim)
1981 Schalke 04 (joint interim)
1981 Schalke 04 (interim)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



Born in Saarland, Assauer played in 307 matches for Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen between 1964 and 1976. From 1976 to 1981, he remained the general manager of Werder Bremen, before leaving to work as a general manager for Schalke 04 for the first time between 1981 and 1986 (he was the interim head coach in 1981 on two occasions; firstly with Heinz Redepenning, and secondly, on his own). This first tenure ended with his dismissal, and Assauer spent four years out of football and went into real estate. He re-entered management in 1990, and in 1993, he once again became the general manager (not a coaching position) at Schalke.

Since taking over for the second time, Schalke have seen much success, including a 1997 UEFA Cup win, and victory in the DFB-Pokal finals of 2001 and 2002. Schalke narrowly lost the Bundesliga title race in 2001 in the very last minute to Bayern Munich, which was described as the most bitter moment in his career.[2] Assauer also oversaw the development of a brand new stadium for the club. In May 2006, Assauer was suspected of giving away secret information concerning the financial problems of Schalke, so the club and Assauer parted company.

As of February 2009, he had been a player agent. His agency Assauer Sportmanagement AG represents, among others, Marc-André Kruska, Stefan Wächter, Sun Xiang and Pekka Lagerblom.

Image and personalityEdit

Assauer in 2002, during Schalke's Pokal victory celebrations.

Aussauer was one of the best-known German football managers, also because of his distinctive image and appearance. He was very outspoken with his opinions and had the image of a "Macho with heart".[3] Due to his habit of smoking a great number of cigars, he was given the nickname Stumpen-Rudi, or Cheroot Rudi. He was described by Michael Meier, former chairman of Borussia Dortmund, as a Kashmir Hooligan.

In 2010, he was quoted as saying openly gay footballers should find another job.[4] "If a player came to me and said he was gay I would say to him: 'You have shown courage'. But then I would tell him to find something else to do. That's because those who out themselves always end up busted by it, ridiculed by their fellow players and by people in the stands. We should spare them these witch hunts."[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Assauer lived with the actress Simone Thomalla until January 2009.

On 31 January 2012, Assauer confirmed media reports that he, still only 67, was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.[6] Aussauer spoke openly about his disease in a number of interviews afterwards, which started a public discussion about Alzheimer's[7], but withdrew from public during his last years. On 6 February 2019, his life partner, Beata Schneider, reported his death.[8]

Managerial statisticsEdit

Assauer (second, left) in 2002, during Schalke's Pokal victory celebrations.
Team From To Record
G W D L Win % Ref.
Werder Bremen 20 December 1977[9] 31 December 1977[9] 1 1 0 0 100.00 [9]
Werder Bremen 29 January 1980[9] 20 February 1980[9] 1 0 0 1 000.00 [9]
Schalke 04 26 May 1981[10] 30 June 1981[10] 2 0 1 1 000.00 [10]
Schalke 04 20 January 1983[10] 24 January 1983[10] 1 0 1 0 000.00 [10]
Total 5 1 2 2 020.00



  1. ^ "Rudolf Assauer" (in German). Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hall, Alan (12 March 2010). "Fury as German ex-football boss says: 'There's no place in football for gays'". MailOnline. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
  5. ^ "German football boss says gay players should find another job". Pink News. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  6. ^ ""Der Kopf, die Birne – schlimmer geht's nicht"" (in German). 31 January 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Rudi Assauer ist tot". Der Spiegel (in German). 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Werder Bremen" (in German). kicker. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "FC Schalke 04" (in German). kicker. Retrieved 27 April 2014.

External linksEdit