His job is to ensure that the best German soccer referees receive perfect physiotherapy before, during and after big games. Christoph Sollors from Füssen works as a physiotherapist for the German Olympic Sports Confederation and, as one of five physiotherapists nationwide, is responsible for the DFB referee elite, whether in the stadium or in the training camp. He is mostly in action at the home games of FC Bayern Munich, but also at DFB Cup games and the Champions League. The upcoming European Championship, in which individual games will now also be played in the Munich Allianz Arena, is now another premiere for him.
If the FC Bayern players’ bench is shown on television during a broadcast, Christoph Sollors can usually be found sitting right next to the players. The 39-year-old grew up in Füssen, went to school there and was a member of several local sports clubs. He played soccer at FC Füssen before he played ice hockey with his classmate Michael Wolf at EV Füssen. Together with his wife Isabel, he has been running their own medical practice in Munich Neuhausen for many years now. “I came to professional sport in 2009,” says Sollors. “That’s when we started looking after the players from Spielvereinigung Unterhaching. Two years later I took over the supervision of the referees before I became the head therapist of the DFB in Munich in 2015. “Today it is professional athletes of all kinds who are treated by Sollors and his team. From footballers to members of the national golf team to the women’s national team of the German Parachute Sports Association. Among them are some well-known names such as the Brazilian soccer star Douglas Costa de Souza or the German junior national player Leon Dajaku, who currently plays for 1. FC Union Berlin. But wrestler Anna Carmen Schell or players from the judo and baseball national team also come to his practice. All in all, the man from Füssen describes his work as incredibly interesting and versatile. After all, for some patients he is not just a sports physiotherapist, but in a certain way – and especially in times of Corona – sometimes also a kind of psychologist. “Some players have few contacts and are happy when they can talk to someone with confidence. Of course, we then also talk about things that are stressful for them. “
Work with the four-person referee teams usually begins one day before a scheduled game. In a first check, it is determined whether or where overload or blockages are to be found, back, knee or joint problems are present and muscles need to be treated. “Of course, this has to be solved or remedied before the game,” says Sollors. “My job also includes all-round support for the referees on the match day itself and the day after.” This means that the therapist can follow every FC Bayern game up close and directly from the edge of the field. A contact with top stars and well-known names, whether Müller or Rummenigge, is inevitable. You know each other. It is also difficult to avoid the fact that you are then part of the excitement yourself. “Although it can be a bit painful for me at times,” he laughs, “especially since I’m an avowed Haching fan”. Christoph Sollors has now been nominated directly by UEFA for the European Championship. With three preliminary round matches for the German team and a quarter-finals, he has four appointments for the time being.
Text: Lars Peter Schwarz · Photo: private