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Category Archives: Anecdotes

The football mad tyrant

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Over the last few weeks Muammar Gaddafi’s face has been all over the papers, news broadcasts and online news sites. While the media has focused on NATO’s bombardment of his country and lavish fees paid to American entertainers, news of Gaddafi’s ties to European football have been marginalized, saving European football clubs another round of embarrassment on the world stage.

Loves his football: Gaddafi.

Artists like Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Usher and 50 cent have been spotlighted  because they had received money to perform at one of the private parties that were financed by the Gaddafi family’s money. (Well, if you thought that tyrants and their children had redeeming sides like great taste in art and music you are horribly mistaken). Their fees were paid from monies taken from Libya’s massive oil revenues that has been spread around the entire world on off-shore accounts, at Swiss banks etc.

The Gaddafi’s store 8 billion dollars of their fortune in the Libyan capital of Tripoli alone according to former central bank governor Farhat Bengdara, while common Libyans suffer daily in poverty.  While the entertainers have been exposed, Gaddafi’s links with big European clubs in Italy and Germany haven’t been discussed in the international media during NATO’s and the revolutionaries struggle against the tyrant. Read the rest of this entry


Wishful thinking: This is what could stop Bayern from winning the salad bowl

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Bayern Munich are everybody’s favorite to win the German title this season. But, Bayern have been beaten in the championship race in the past. Here is what is important when battling against Bayern Munich for the championship.

This "lovely" trophy is up for grabs again in the 11/12 season of the Bundesliga.

All evidence is pointing towards a championship winning campaign for Bayern Munich. The team from Bavaria have usually taken the salad bowl home after the German national team have had the entire summer off in the recent past. Furthermore, the Bavarians are the biggest spenders in this transfer window, and have strengthened their side considerably with quality signings like Manuel Neuer, Nils Petersen and Rafinha. Some fans have even begun to embrace some of the silliest stats that are out there to convince themselves that Bayern won’t win the championship. Did you know that Heynckes is too old to win the championship somebody asked on Twitter. True, he’d be the oldest coach to win this title, but Heynckes isn’t a befuddled senior who pours red wine in his coffee cup while sitting half-naked on the bus. I’ll try to give you some decent stats and trends that could indicate that Bayern can be beaten to the championship. Read the rest of this entry

2010 viewed from the perspective of a Bundesliga fan

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2010 is coming to an end, and fans of the Bundesliga have a lot to be thankful for: the cheapest tickets in Europe and the highest goal scoring average of any league in Europe are certainly among those things. But, besides the fact that we were entertained by what happened on the pitch, there were also a few exciting moments beside the pitch. Here are my highlights of 2010.

2010 began on a peaceful note. The Hamburger SV is certain that Bruno Labbadia is the man the club has been waiting for. That is probably why oldie Ruud van Nistelrooy decides to sign for the HSV.

Jens Lehmann tells befuddled journalists that he will guard the national side’s goal during the World Cup in South Africa. Leverkusen, Schalke and Bayern are in a three way race for the title.

Felix Magath is not able to make any mistakes according to Germany’s biggest tabloid paper, Bild. Most people expect therefor Schalke’s surprise winter buy, defender Tore Reginiussen, to be an instant hit.

DFB-president Theo Zwanziger finds out that he didn’t extend Joggi Löw’s contract. Team manager Bierhoff and Zwanziger are starting their media feud that would last for some time.

The Peruvian striker Paulo Guerrero manages finally to catch a plane from Peru. Guerrero is according to media reports afraid of air travel.

Hannover are still shocked by the sudden death of goalkeeper Robert Enke. The club hasn’t won a single game after Enke’s death in November 2009.

The VFL Bochum doesn’t manage to take home a single point in march. Jens Lehmann is still thinking that he should be the national side’s goalkeeper. Werder Bremen’s four goals at home against Valencia are not enough to take the northerners to the next round of the Euro-League. Bayer Leverkusen lose three of their league games, and are out of the title-race.

Kevin Kuranyi is in the meantime in the form of his life, and scores a boatload of goals for Schalke. That doesn’t impress Joachim Löw, who still won’t take the striker back in his team. Löw’s first choice strikers, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, haven’t impressed anyone in 2010.

Hannover 96 helps Bayern Munich by winning 4-2 against Schalke. The team from Lower-Saxony loses its next game 7-0 against, you guessed it, Bayern Munich.

Most German’s think that Kevin Kuranyi should be part of the country’s World Cup side. Bruno Labbadia is no longer the Messiahs the HSV has been waiting for, and has to leave the club.

But hell, nobody is talking about German football anyway, because of an Icelandic volcano that screwed up everyones plans for the holidays.

Micheal Ballack is attacked by Kevin Prince Boateng and can’t participate in the World Cup. After Ballack had to pass, so do Rolfes, Träsch, Westermann – and Rene Adler. But none of the 82 million Germans care, because Lena Meyer-Landrut wins the Grand-Prix.

Bayern win the league, and Louis van Gaal parties like an English girl on a holiday on Ibiza.

The World Cup starts.

Experts are grumpy, because Argentine and England probably will meet in the early knock-out stages. “The possibility of a dream final ruined”, they yell. Dieter Hoeneß agrees, the English way of playing football is superior to the German way, and decides to hire Steve McClaren, who most certainly will take Wolfsburg to the top of the league.

90% of European males are deaf, because of the sound of the Vuvuzelas coming from their television sets. Germany comes in third at the World Cup. Zwanziger and Bierhoff claim that they love each other as much as on the day they first met.

The league starts again. Micheal Ballack has returned to Leverkusen, but most of Germany is talking about Philipp Lahm’s demand to keep the captain’s armband in the future. Schalke starts poorly into the league, and Felix Magath is doing everything wrong according to Germany’s biggest tabloid, Bild.

The Bruchweg boys conquer the league. Mainz wins the first seven games in a row, and are the front runners of the league. Magath is still doing everything wrong. Bayern Munich are also off to a poor start. Dortmund is the only team that can keep up with Mainz.

Cottbus and Karlsruhe draw 5-5 in Germany’s second highest division.

Dortmund are pulling away at the top of the league. Faryed Mondragon loses his place in Cologne’s starting line-up, and feels as badly treated as Jesus.

The first half of the 10/11 season is coming to an end. Dortmund seem already like the winners of the championship, while Bremen and Bayern are struggling. Things turn around at Schalke. The reason for that turn of event is because Magath never makes any mistakes, according to Germany’s biggest tabloid, Bild.

Dortmund player Kuba manages to miss an empty goal and his miss goes viral on YouTube.

Dortmund are winter champions, and the World Cup in 2022 will be held in Qatar. The Hamburger SV is convinced that Armin Veh is the coach they have been waiting for since Ernst Happel. Stuttgart have sacked their second coach for the season, but is convinced that Bruno Labbadia will be able to turn things around.

Nobody in Germany remembers who Tore Reginiussen is.

Nothing is for certain, but this will probably happen in 2011:
Magath continues to do well. The Bild Zeitung demands that pope Benedict steps aside, to leave all his duties to Felix Magath.

Jens Lehmann thinks about a comeback, and tells Schalke 04 that he is willing to replace Manuel Neuer. The 41 year old tells German journalists that he should play for Germany in the 2012 European Championship.

Thomas Schaaf makes a shock move to the HSV, and leaves his former partner Klaus Allofs behind. Allofs, shocked by the loss, tells the Bild Zeitung that he never will love again. HSV manager Bernd Hoffmann says that Schaaf is the coach the club has been waiting for.

Did I forget to include any highlights? Leave a comment.

Another detour through history

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As promised in my previous post, here are my favorite stories and anecdotes about the 1. Fc Cologne and Borussia Mönchengladbach.


1. Cologne coach Oswald Pfau did generously give his players two days off before the cup-final in 1960. World Cup hero Helmut Rahn took that as a license to go on a massive binge, and turned up drunk at the hotel just minutes before the game started. Cologne’s captain, president and coach couldn’t agree on what to do. So they called the coach of the national side, Sepp Herberger, who told them: So what, he might even score a couple of goals.

But Rahn didn’t. Cologne lost the final 2-3 against the HSV with a drunk Helmut Rahn on the pitch. And while the rest of the team headed to the traditional dinner with mayor of Cologne, Rahn decided to skip the rest of the days program all together. The enraged president Fritz Kremer gave Rahn the boot.

2. The team from west-German are often called the billy goats. Here is the story that goes with that name. After the carnival of 1950 a circus director decided to give the football team one of their billy goats as a gift. When the goat was handed over to the club it decided to empty its massive blather on the legendary FC coach Hennes Weisweiler’s arm.

The goat was therefor named after Weisweiler, and all the subsequent billy goats that have served as mascots have had the name Hennes.


Hennes the 7th is named after the legendary coach Hennes Weisweiler. Weisweiler was also successful at Gladbach.

3. The FC decided to buy a new goalkeeper from Brazil in 1965. The billy goats spent 100.000 Deutsche Mark in transfer fees for Miguel Ferreira. The polite young man is remembered for greeting the ladies that worked at the offices of the 1. FC Cologne with hand kisses, and for not playing a single minute of football for the club. He was gifted away to the SC Bonn in the end.

4. Recognizing the difference between twins is often difficult. In 1965 saw the talented footballer Zvezdan Cebinac on a trial at Cologne. The club liked what they saw and decided to offer the player a contract. After the contract was signed Zvezdan stopped showing up for practice, and his untalented brother Srdjan took over for him.

5. Then Cologne coach Uwe Rapolder was annoyed by Youssef Mokhtari’s selfish behavior on the pitch. His solution: make Mokhtari write an essay about altruism.


Rapolder didn't manage to win any title with Cologne, but he taught at least one of the team's striker what selflessness is.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

1. The teams nickname the Foals was formed in the 70’s. At the time Gladbach ruled the league with quick and passionate offensive football. The team was mainly put together with young plays, and therefor the name the Foals emerged.

2. This anecdote appeared in the newly published biography about Robert Enke. Enke and the rest of the team were in the dressing room and then-manager Rolf Rüssmann stormed into the room: Has anybody got some moisturizer, I have dry skin, Rüssmann told the players. Stephan Paßlack quickly handed Rüssmann a tube. The manager smeared some of the tube’s content in his face. His face didn’t move for a long time after he was done smearing, Paßlack had in fact handed Rüssmann a tube of hair gel.

3. The following story happened during the cup-final in 1973. Günther Netzer had been placed on the bench by coach Hennes Weisweiler, and when the game didn’t seem to go Gladbach’s way Netzer took matters into his own hands. “I am playing now”, Netzer remarked dryly to his coach. After he had substituted himself on the pitch in the 91 minute Netzer actually scored the winning goal in overtime.

Goal of the century?: Netzer’s goal is shown on this YouTube clip after 2 minutes.

4. Young and promising Wolfram Wuttke came to the club in 1981. The attacker quickly managed to secure himself a place in Jupp Heynckes starting eleven. While everything seemed fine on the outside, the collaboration between Heynckes and Wuttke was difficult at times.

After Heynckes went on a rampage, Wuttke pointed out the fact that his face turned quickly red when Heynckes was angry. The attacker decided to add insult to injury and gave Heynckes the nickname Osram(after a German light bulb producer). Wuttke got away with a fine, but to this day Heynckes is still called Osram.

5. This story involves both clubs. Gladbach and Cologne were equal on points before the last match of the season in 78, but Cologne looked like the sure winners of the league because of their goal difference. Gladbach had to catch up ten goals.

The team managed to go 6-0 up against to Borussia Dortmund before the half time break. The news of Gladbach’s surge reached the fans that had gathered to see St. Pauli playing against Cologne. Gladbach continued their rampage of Dortmund after the break, and went on to win 12-0. Cologne on its side was cheered on by St. Pauli’s supporters and managed to win 5-0. If Cologne hadn’t scored three goals after the break, the championship title of 78 would have ended up in the hands of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Any anecdotes missing? Any other anecdotes from the world of football you would like share? Don’t hesitate, leave a comment below.