Third place like winning a title for Leverkusen – Voller

Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller believes that a third-placed finish in the Bundesliga is like winning a title.

The Werkself finished in the Bundesliga top three last season behind runaway victors Bayern Munich and comfortably second Borussia Dortmund, securing them an automatic berth in the group stage of the top European competition.

The ex-Germany international, 53, feels that Champions League qualification is worth more in modern German football than a DFB-Pokal win.

“Third place is worth more than a cup victory now,” Voller told Sport1.

“I would not trade a place in the Champions League for a cup win. When you reach the Champions League it is like winning a title.”

Voller does not believe that Bayern and Dortmund can still be considered Leverkusen’s main rivals, as they are considerably better than the club at the moment.

“Bayern are special team and have got even stronger. They are the best team in the world at the moment,” he added.

“Bayern and Dortmund were in the Champions League final last season and are stronger than us. Schalke, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and Hamburg are our main rivals.”

The 1990 World Cup-winner also spoke about the club’s transfer activity, saying he feels the side are looking strong at the back but need to add more in attack.

“With the recent transfers of Roberto Hilbert and Emir Spahic, we are very well-staffed at the back,” Voller continued.

“We are still looking to strengthen offensively, whether it be a young player or a seasoned professional. We would like to bring in two more players at least.”

Voller has been in his role at Leverkusen since 2005 and has previously been head coach at the club, as well as the Germany national side.

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