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“This Way” To The Goal

29 Mar

I’ve always thought that being a supporter meant wearing your team’s colors, traveling to home/away matches, and cheering on your club during the best of times and more importantly during the worst. But never in a million years did I ever expect to see this.

FC Magdeburg, wallowing in last place of the German Fourth Division, have had a slight problem scoring goals this season. To be exact, they’ve put only 16 balls into the net over 25 matches. That’s 11 less than the club just ahead of them in the table, not to mention 5 consecutive matches without scoring. As a result, the home fans took matters into their own hands.

Facing Berliner AK ’07, supporters behind each goal held neon cut-outs of arrows pointing towards the net. They also unfurled a banner which read “Don’t worry, we’ll show you where the goal is!” The hilarity is not just their standing with arrows, but as the ball moved from one side of the pitch in the other, so too did the supporters sprint across the stands to ensure that the arrows continued to point in the appropriate direction.

Proceedings looked bleak until 10 minutes from time when Chris Wright (USA! USA! USA!) scored for the home side, ending a preposterous 558-minute drought…only for Berliner to knock home the winner in stoppage time to snatch a 2-1 victory.

At least the fans will look back at those 10 minutes as being the most memorable of the season and can now look forward to a successful career as traffic cops.

The historic goal can be found at the 7:05 mark.


Manuel Neuer’s Performance Enhancing Braces

22 Feb

These days, athletes will do just about anything to gain a competitive advantage. From steroids to steak to gender alterations, the need to keep up with the speed and power of modern day sport can compel players to do just about anything as their bodies begin to age. Football, while largely unaffected by the doping, is by no means estranged from such tactics, although it always seemed that fashionable tights were the most preferred method of choice, until now.

Leave it to the Germans for efficiency. Schalke’s Manuel Neuer paid a visit to Dr. Steffen Tschakert last week to get a fitting for his €1,595 bite guard. (All that money does not cover the emotional stress of being wired into a medieval torture rack better fitted for Frankenstein.) According to Dr. Tschakert, who also served as the chief doctor for the German Olympic team, “wearing the guard provides an ideal bite position for the jaw, which in turn produces efficient working body muscles, better balance, higher power capacity, optimal co-ordination, and less injury.”

Dortmund oral surgeon Dr. Manfred Nilius supports his colleague’s efforts by adding that affixing the temporomandibular joint to a neutral position can relieve the body of unnecessary stresses. It also allows the individual to breathe in more oxygen without completely opening your mouth.

Sounds good to me. Although I don’t quite understand why the man who has let in the third fewest goals in the Bundesliga and widely regarded as the most wanted goalkeeper in the world at the moment would require performance enhancing braces. Neuer is already top of his game yet those efforts have seen Schalke rise no higher than tenth in the league.

Maybe the outfield players are the ones who need to think about their jaw alignment a bit more. I know I’ll be wearing my retainer more often from now on.

Photo courtesy of

Dortmund Fans Almost Bring Down The House

10 Dec

As far as terrifying sights are concerned, this is up there with the best of them. League leaders Borussia Dortmund traveled to Nuremberg last Sunday and brought with them an army of supporters who found jumping in unison the best way to keep warm. A 2-0 scoreline in their favor probably added to their elation as well.

The jumping was so great that the Frankenstadion literally shook. Nuremberg officials said afterwords the stadium is built to sustain such weight and the elasticity of the tier was perfectly normal.

There is nothing normal about this video whatsoever.

WAG Wednesday Part 12 – Gina Lisa Lohfink

11 Nov

I know you are probably thinking from the name and photo that Gina Lisa must be a porn star name. Okay, so she may have released a sex tape in 2008 and featured in Playboy. HOWEVER, Lisa is a former contestant on Germany’s Next Top Model and a notorious serial WAG.

Her current conquest is VfB Stuttgart’s Ivorian left back Arthur Boka.

Lucky bastard:
Continue reading

WAG Wednesday Part 8 – Sarah Brandner

27 Oct

Here’s another one of those head-scratchers. With all do respect to the abilities of Bastian Schweinsteiger who is a phenomenal player, the bleached hair and his overall gentlemanly look don’t really flatter. And yet, he has dated the very sensual, blonde bombshell Sarah Brandner for some time.

She looks good in pictures with him. She looks good at World Cup matches. She looks even BETTER double fisting two beers at World Cup matches. I guess you could say, she’s pretty good looking.

VfB Stuttgart attend beer festival despite sitting bottom of the table

7 Oct

Sometimes, clubs set standards for themselves. And when those standards are not met, there are consequences – privileges are taken away. Case in point: Bayern Munich. After defeat in Dortmund and tumbling down to 12th position in the league, Coach Luis van Gaal canceled the team’s annual trip to Oktoberfest for beer and bustiers. Understandably, the performances on the pitch did not warrant such reward.

Then there’s VfB Stuttgart. Dead last in the Bundesliga. They have won a single game all season and lost six. A sixth place finisher last season, one would expect this horrific start to qualify as not meeting the club’s preseason goals…not quite.

Instead of spending extra time training and working on fundamentals, or tweaking the existing tactics and formations, the team decided on a better course of action to raise their standard of play – BEER FEST!!!

So, the team set off for the Stuttgart Beer Festival prepared to drink away their sorrows and dine on bratwursts, knackwursts, potatoes, and sauerkraut. Players and coaches received warm welcome and applause from the 3,000 in attendance. Then the President got up to address the crowd, prompting a fury of boos and whistling. All he could muster up was, “We’re gonna work our asses off to get out of the relegation zone.”

Well said! You convinced me that’s for sure. Especially since that “we” you speak of is sharing benches with the locals in a tent, drowning themselves in pints of beer. To me, that looks like working their asses off. Rumor has it they’ve already booked a trip to Disney World for the Christmas break, and plan to take an African safari when relegation is confirmed in the Spring. Isn’t it just great being a loser?!

More pics to follow:

 Mauro Camoranesi must LOVE Germany. Back in Italy, failure is met with fans assaulting their own players and setting fires to public buildings, if not the stadium itself.

 Drink up Christian. Your days are numbered.

(photos courtesy of

League leaders Mainz put Bayern to the sword with two cracking goals

25 Sep

They came for the day to take care of business. No, seriously. With Oktoberfest ongoing, no hotel offered peace and quiet for the visiting team. So instead, they flew to Munich Saturday morning, out classed and shut down Bayern, then jumped on a plane to head home. Six matches. Six wins. Ten points clear of last year’s champs.

In what was an open and very lively affair, Mainz impressed and showed no nerves whatsoever. They also claimed two superb highlights for goals.

Allagui’s cheeky back heel for the first:

Szalai’s classy winner:

Mainz players get a little carried away

22 Sep

Yesterday, Mainz defeated Cologne by a score of 2-0 continuing their perfect start to the season: five wins in five matches. A rather surprising start to the campaign for a team that finished 9th last season and already sits five points clear of second placed Hoffenheim.

The players, not surprisingly, are riding this wave of euphora on a weekly basis and yesterday took it to a whole new level capped off with that ridiculous “number one” cut-out. Luckily, a loss would have still kept them atop the league so the sign would have played regardless.

What on earth is that yellow rod in Lewis Holtby’s hands you may be asking?

The flag poll. He took it after scoring a brace to show off his best Jimi Hendrix impression (he’s even a lefty too).

It all seems a bit premature, and could very well jinx their success down the road. But I absolutely love it. With Bayern, Schalke, Bremen, Wolfsburg, and Leverkusen picking up scraps farther down the table, why not celebrate every successful opportunity to widen the gap? There are new kids on the block in Germany, coincidentally from a city that boasts one of the largest Carnival celebrations in the country, and they’re going to party as much as they want.

More celebratory photos below:

Check out the guy on the right. “We TOTALLY rock, dude”
(Photos courtesy of

Meet Andrea Kaiser – Germany’s sexiest TV WAG

22 Sep

Andrea Kaiser is a sideline reporter for Germany’s SAT.1 television sports affiliate – RAN. She is a lifelong supporter of SpVgg Unterhaching, a third division team located in the suburban outskirts of Munich.

She is currently dating Lars Ricken, the former Dortmund midfielder whose career was cut short by injury. Ricken scored this famous long distance goal against Juventus in the 1997 Champions League final, making him the youngest to do so in a final as well as the quickest (16 seconds after the 21 year old came on).

But now he’s retired and his girlfriend is super hot. So enough about him and back to her. Andrea has also appeared in FHM in addition to your television screen. Ain’t she just splendid?

More photos after the jump:

(Photos courtesy of FHM and

Matches You Can’t Miss This Weekend

17 Sep

Amid the endless number of football matches available for viewing this weekend, here’s three can’t miss encounters. That means – unless your girlfriend is dragging you to some lame brunch with her parents (which is still not a decent excuse), get your ass to a TV and watch!


The bitterest and most hotly contested of the northwest derbies. Pride and much needed confidence boosts are on the line Sunday at Old Trafford – perhaps more for the players involved than the teams themselves.

Wayne Rooney, who as one United correspondent so aptly described as filling ‘more column space than the Iraq war in recent week,’ needs to get back in the headlines for good things. Between cheating on his pregnant wife and playing terrible, anonymous football, Rooney needs to up his game and what better platform than this. Luckily for United, Berbatov has started to show his £30 million worth. Rio Ferdinand is back from injury. Can he sure up a United defense which has shipped four points and more injury time goals in the past two weeks than SAF’s already red face can take?

As for the Scousers, Fernando Torres is reeling from a week where former player Jamie Redknapp called him ‘diabolical, just diabolical.” Rather harsh from a relatively mediocre player in his time. Not to mention the fact that Liverpool fans are already questioning Torres’ attitude and overall form in general, which have been well below his standard recently. More than simply a good game, Torres needs to score. And what about the new manager thrown into his biggest league match to date? Can Woy stop being the nicest man in England and show some grit to lead his team to victory?

Looking at the larger picture, Liverpool cannot afford to lose more ground on those European spots. A point would do, but three would be better. Manchester United need to recoup some confidence as well, since it seems unlikely Chelsea and Arsenal will drop points in the near future. All to play for.


This is one of those games where the football is secondary. Where the patches on the shirt and regional pride go to the very heart of the matter, not just the game on the field. It may not be the lion’s den of San Mames, but Anoeta will surely be an intimidating setting for the Royal Whites as 32,000 raucous Basque supporters will make every touch of the ball a living hell for the Madrileños.

Nothing – no derby, no cup final, no 1 vs 2 – can rival the atmosphere that will engulf San Sebastian on Saturday afternoon.

As for the football itself, there is no reason it shouldn’t be an entertaining affair. Real Madrid are clearly still finding their identity under Mourinho and have not impressed by any means. Real Sociedad, on the other hand, are coming off a disappointing draw on Monday at Almeria (if only because they blew the lead twice – the equalizer in the 90th minute) but have begun the campaign positively with productive football. No real favorite in this one.

The cherry on top is Xabi Alonso’s homecoming – returning to his childhood club for the first time since leaving for Liverpool in 2004. The final game of that season, Alonso pitched in a goal as they utterly demolished Madrid 4-1 at the Bernabeu. It will surely be a bittersweet return for one of Sociedad’s most successful exports.

Previous encounters: Real Madrid won 2-1 on their last trip to Anoeta. Eight of the previous ten matches have been close affairs with neither team scoring more than two goals a piece.


Open, flowing, beautiful football will be on display Sunday.

I mentioned in a column the other day that this would be a game for Barcelona to dread. Atlético are the only club in Spain in recent years to successfully exploit Barcelona’s high defensive line with ruthless speed and precision.
From Barcelona’s standpoint, this trip to the Vicente Calderon could not have come at a more inopportune time, depending on how you look at it. That loss to Hercules has not faded from fans’ memories and the midweek thrashing of Panathinaikos was simply a band aid. So on the one hand, a win on Sunday against a club which has always given them problems will bring some much needed confidence back to the Camp Nou. However, lose and drop farther down the table a week after the Hercules debacle, and there will be more than a few nervous supporters (including this one).

As for Atlético Madrid, are they for real? UEFA Super Cup champs and top of the league after two impressive wins, are they the team to finally challenge the top two? This match will go a long way to answer that question.

Expect plenty of goals. 31 goals have been scored in the previous six matches. No less than three in each of those games. Atlético has also won two of the last three in absolutely breathtaking fashion.


There are FOUR regional/city derbies this weekend. Not too shabby – especially when you consider the Bundesliga is the most competitive league in Europe right now. Do your best to catch any of the following:

Schalke vs Borussia Dortmund – The nastiest of them all. A large number of Dortmund fans have boycotted the match since Schalke decided to raise ticket prices for the visiting supporters by 50%. Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp then took the opportunity to throw a jab at his last place adversaries, ‘fans are apparently not in the mood to finance Huntelaar’s [€14 million] transfer.’

St. Pauli vs Hamburg – Hamburg derby

Kaiserslautern vs Hoffenheim – Regional derby

Wolfsburg vs Hannover – Lower Saxony derby
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