Lieferung innerhalb 1-3 Werktage
Vorbestellung möglich
Kostenloser Versand*

My Moves

Volker Struth
Nicht mehr folgen

How I became Germany’s most successful agent

Hardcover (20,00 €)
€ 20,00 inkl. MwSt.
sofort lieferbar
In den Warenkorb
Für den Versand als Geschenk können eine gesonderte Lieferadresse eingeben sowie eine Geschenkverpackung und einen Grußtext wählen. Einem Geschenkpaket wird keine Rechnung beigelegt, diese wird gesondert per Post versendet.
Kostenlose Lieferung
Bestellungen ab 9,00 € liefern wir innerhalb von Deutschland versandkostenfrei

My Moves — Inhalt

‘Volker Struth is a pied piper, and I’m fortunate enough to have been led by him.’ - Toni Kroos

‘A mover and shaker with a big heart and an incredible sense for people.’ - Friedhelm Funkel

Agents are legendary figures in professional football. Volker Struth is one of them, and his life is an adventure with a fairy-tale ending: growing up in desperate circumstances in Pulheim near Cologne, his imagination and ideas first made him a hugely successful entrepreneur, then Germany’s biggest agent. In this book, Struth provides insights into the trade secrets of the game, taking the reader behind the desks of Europe’s most influential directors of football and revealing how negotiations really work. He offers a glimpse into the souls of Bundesliga players and world stars, and he divulges the price he’s had to pay for his success.

‘He’ll go to great lengths for his players. And when he has to, he’ll fight like a dog in the street. It’s why he spends year after year at the top of the industry.’ - Reiner Calmund

‘Generally, you don’t like to negotiate with Volker Struth because it always ends up being expensive. He’s fair, but he’s firm.’ - Oliver Mintzlaff

‘I like and value Volker Struth. But I’m always glad when he comes through the door without a player in tow.’ - Rudi Völler

€ 20,00 [D], € 20,60 [A]
Erschienen am 28.07.2022
Übersetzt von: Ceylan Stafford-Bloor
296 Seiten, Hardcover mit Schutzumschlag
EAN 978-3-492-07299-1
Download Cover

Leseprobe zu „My Moves“


I’ve never been to a business seminar. I’ve never made a PowerPoint presentation. Instead, my business ideas have been instinctive, developed on the spot. Once, I had one while swaying to music at the Oktoberfest.

It came to me when the band struck up ‘Viva Colonia’. Confused, I wondered what a Cologne anthem was doing at that most Bavarian of all festivals and even more so why people were waving around their tankards enthusiastically. Two hours later, the crowd were still going.

‘Da simmer dabei, dat is prima, Viva Colonia!’

Suddenly, it dawned on [...]



I’ve never been to a business seminar. I’ve never made a PowerPoint presentation. Instead, my business ideas have been instinctive, developed on the spot. Once, I had one while swaying to music at the Oktoberfest.

It came to me when the band struck up ‘Viva Colonia’. Confused, I wondered what a Cologne anthem was doing at that most Bavarian of all festivals and even more so why people were waving around their tankards enthusiastically. Two hours later, the crowd were still going.

‘Da simmer dabei, dat is prima, Viva Colonia!’

Suddenly, it dawned on me: ‘I’m going to do this in Cologne.’

‘What?’ my wife said, incredulously. She’d become wary of my flashes of inspiration.

‘I’m going to organise an Oktoberfest in Cologne!’

‘Viiiiva Cohhhlooonia,’ the crowd roared around us.

Whenever an idea takes hold of me, I have to follow it through – regardless of whether I’m brushing my teeth or slamming overflowing tankards in a crowd. So, while my body was still in that Schottenhamel tent, toasting, laughing, and swaying, my mind was far away. I’ve always been able to do that – be in two places in once, in the present and deep within an idea.

An Oktoberfest in Cologne, then: traditional Bavarian attire, lederhosen and dirndl, and a Bavarian brass band playing Cologne anthems. But what would I do about the beer – serve Bavarian helles or Kölsch in tankards, would that be sacrilege or the perfect joke? Whatever. It would be a success! In Cologne, partying is always a success. Suddenly, a burst of applause brought me back to the present and, looking around, I recognised Edmund Stoiber up in the gallery.

With a raised tankard and surrounded by a delegation of Cologne executives, the Bavarian premier saluted the crowd from the platform. It was 18 September 2004 and we had been invited to attend the traditional tapping of the first barrel at the Schottenhamel. My mind was racing now.

Stoiber. I needed Stoiber.

I made my way through the tent, squeezing past broad shoulders and sweaty backs. If I wanted to export a Bavarian cultural asset like the Oktoberfest to Cologne, the Bavarian premier’s approval was essential.

Two security guards were blocking the staircase to the gallery.

‘Grüß Gott,’ I said. ‘My name’s Fritz Schramma, I’m Lord Mayor of Cologne. I would like to say hello to Edmund Stoiber.’

One of the guards looked me over. I was wearing a red-and-white chequered shirt under my lederhosen, my black hair was long at the back. I didn’t look like a typical mayor, no, but the seats for the barrel tapping in the Schottenhamel had been assigned almost exclusively to honourees, and the lederhosen made us all look the same: how was a security guard supposed to be sure whether it was really Cologne’s Lord Mayor standing in front of him? The guard spoke into his radio.

Upstairs in the gallery, a different guard paced towards the group surrounding Edmund Stoiber. The premier was currently engaged in conversation, so the guard approached his wife, who looked at me. I offered a smile, and she nodded in return.

Off I went up the stairs. Then, after easing around a shoulder and gently pushing aside an arm, I was finally facing him.

‘Mr Stoiber, your good friend Fritz Schramma sends me to give you his kindest regards.’

‘Ah, Fritz! How is he?’

‘Very well,’ – probably – ‘listen, Mr Stoiber, I’ve had an idea. They keep playing ‘Viva Colonia’ in here, so I was wondering what you might think of our hosting an Oktoberfest in Cologne, too. A bit of Bavarian everyday culture, if you will.’

‘That’s an excellent idea!’

‘I plan on discussing it with Fritz Schramma. But it would be helpful if I could count on your support – if Fritz were to call you, would you mind telling him that you’re on board with the project?’


‘Mr Stoiber. Thank you.’ We shook hands, and I spent the next fifteen minutes chatting with Mrs Stoiber.

‘What were you doing upstairs with Stoiber?’

My friends thought they were seeing things; suddenly, there I’d been, standing in front of the Bavarian premier. They laughed as I told them and our tankards clanked again, but to fully explain what my business had been with the Bavarian Stoiber, I have to go back much further.

I grew up without parents. Instead, I was raised by my grandmother, in a coal miners’ settlement on the outskirts of Cologne. We weren’t wealthy. In fact, whenever I was on the phone, my grandmother would make sure that I hung up after 11 minutes and 59 seconds. Twelve minutes at the local rate cost 23 pennies, one second more and it would’ve been another 23. ‘We have no money,’ she’d say, and that’s one of the reasons why having ideas and being persuasive became my currency.

‘Karl-Heinz,’ I said to Cologne tourist board CEO Karl-Heinz Merfeld, in the Schottenhamel tent, ‘I need you to get me another appointment with Fritz Schramma.’

It wasn’t long until I stood in the office of Cologne’s Lord Mayor – the real one – giving him Edmund Stoiber’s best wishes. By that stage of my life, I was selling office supplies and merchandising products and doing well, with a turnover of millions. I may have had no experience whatsoever in event organisation, but it didn’t matter. In my mind, I could already see the marquee poles going up.

The next autumn, with me standing to the side of the stage, Fritz Schramma tapped the first barrel at the inaugural Cologne Oktoberfest with a few blows of a hammer. Cologne musicians in Bavarian dress played Kölsche songs, the Kaufhof department store on Hohe Straße set up an entire section with lederhosen and dirndls, and the marquee was sold out every evening, full to bursting with 3,000 visitors.

The Cologne Oktoberfest went on to be a huge success for many years. In the early days, I joined in the celebrations every night, and when the crowd in my marquee sang, ‘Da simmer dabei, dat is prima,’ I’d sing along, laughing.

I did have a few other successful business ideas, but I had never had a career in mind. As a boy, all I wanted was to escape the life I had, the one in which I could only afford two pairs of trousers and a couple of jumpers each year, and even then, only with vouchers from the benefit office. I started an office supply company; I invented Carnival scarves. I organised a camp of volunteers during World Youth Day. So, becoming an agent in professional football seemed like just another idea when I got started in 2007. Now, I’ve been Germany’s most successful agent for over a decade. When Germany won the World Cup in 2014, our former agency SportsTotal represented three players from that team: Toni Kroos, Mario Götze, and Benedikt Höwedes. It would’ve been four, too, had Marco Reus not got injured on the eve of the tournament.

For years, Forbes has listed me among the world’s ten most influential sports agents. But I don’t see myself as a classic agent, more an entrepreneur. Whenever I’m having a romantic phase – which I do, of course, because I’m from Cologne, where we love life and pathos – I think my career could inspire younger people to persevere with their ideas and see them through.

My story is one that Germans assume only happens in the US. The German American dream. I’ve never washed dishes, but I drove refrigerated lorries, hauled meat at the slaughterhouse, spent more money than I had, and started my first business at 27. I became a millionaire in extremely competitive industries like office supply distribution and professional football. You don’t accomplish that by just doing everything the romantic way. Today, in my mid-50s, I have seven stents in my heart, and it’s only because of them that I’ve learned to find a balance in life. I don’t want to embellish anything in this book. I don’t want to glorify anything, either. I want just to be completely, brutally honest.

It’s time to give the public a proper insight. In Germany, football agents are stereotypes; godfathers, supposedly, who have the footballers and clubs on strings, while making millions for doing almost nothing. But there are lousy agents – just like there are lousy doctors, carpenters, and chefs. And because there are also outstanding doctors, carpenters, and chefs, sports agents should be judged individually, too.

In the US, unlike in Europe, the best agents are often semi-mythical: like Sam Cohn, who guided the careers of Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, and hundreds more; literary agent Andrew Wylie, known as The Jackal; or baseball agent Scott Boras, to whom the New Yorker once devoted a ten-page spread lovingly titled ‘The Extortionist’. We agents work behind the big screen, backstage at the concerts, and in the bellies of the stadiums. We’re often out of sight and so, as I tell my story, the reader is free to decide for themselves whether they find our work to be impressive or indecent. Or maybe both.

Becoming a football agent was never my intention. When Reiner Calmund, the legendary, long-term managing director of Bayer Leverkusen, suggested it to me, I actually resisted. Pale and huge, Calli was sitting on the patio of my Mallorca holiday home in 2017. His success at Bayer Leverkusen was long behind him, but I’d retained him to represent some of my businesses and, in the process, made a great friend.

I introduced to him Dirk Hebel, a close acquaintance who was trying to forge his way in football consulting. Dirk was hoping for some advice from Calli and perhaps a few contacts. The result was that I had Dirk join my company to further grow his consultancy and, three months later, on that patio, Calli reckoned he had the solution for my business to properly advance in that area side: I had to get involved personally.

‘And when exactly am I supposed to do that?’ I asked. I already had too many irons in the fire: office supplies, merchandise, events – my company employed more than a hundred people. Calli neatly wrote down all my business fields on a note pad. Then, he crossed them out, replaced them with ‘player consulting’.

‘That’ll make you more money than everything else combined.’

I can’t remember how long it took for me to say yes. Maybe I didn’t say yes at all. Maybe I simply caved at some point, because if there’s someone who’s at least my equal in the art of persuasion, it’s Reiner Calmund.

But once I’ve decided to go for something, I’m gripped by an almost obsessive enthusiasm. A month after I’d managed to get Calli off my Mallorca patio, I got started, determined to break into the football business. First, though, I was going to have to have a conversation about bird seed.

‘So, they add grit to aid the budgies’ digestion? Calcium for bone strength, too? Those birds must have better diets than most people. And you manage to remember all of that, do you?’

The father of the first young footballer I wanted to sign to our agency was a field worker for a pet supply company. The boy’s name was Marcel Risse, an 18-year-old winger from Leverkusen’s academy. I’d invited his father for a meal at Pantanal Rodizio, a Brazilian restaurant that served great piles of meat.

‘Oh, so canaries prefer a slightly different diet, do they? They like honey and sesame? Really!’ I didn’t mind talking in great detail about bird feed. In fact, I probably would’ve eaten bird feed if it meant I’d get to represent Marcel Risse.

More than once, I’ve wondered where my ambition comes from. How did I become who I am? Sometimes, when these thoughts occupy me, I’ll get in my car and start driving, sometimes all the way back to Pulheim. I’ll park on the estate, walk the streets past the old blocks of flats, and I’m back to being the boy I once was.

Volker Struth

Über Volker Struth


Volker Struth, Jahrgang 1966, wuchs in Pulheim bei Köln auf und stieg nach einer Zimmermannlehre und Stationen als Unternehmer für Büroartikel und Events zum erfolgreichsten Spielerberater Deutschlands auf.

Kommentare zum Buch
Kommentieren Sie diesen Beitrag:
(* Pflichtfeld)

Volker Struth - NEWS

Erhalten Sie Updates zu Neuerscheinungen und individuelle Empfehlungen.

Beim Absenden ist ein Fehler aufgetreten!

Volker Struth - NEWS

Sind Sie sicher, dass Sie Volker Struth nicht mehr folgen möchten?

Beim Absenden ist ein Fehler aufgetreten!