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Tag Archives: Robert Enke

Challenge: Picking An All-Time World Football XI

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There are a number of things that can drive a man insane. For me it can be anything from crying babies next to me on an airplane journey from Oslo to Istanbul, or having to listen to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga for an entire evening that other people said would be “fun”. But, the challenge that I received almost 48 hours ago has driven me more insane then all those things.

I was challenged, sort of, by Vampy Archer to pick an all-time world football XI during a discussion on Twitter this monday. Considering how spoilt for choice one is when one is looking back on over 100 years of football history, this turned out to be a recipe for disaster for me. I have certainly 150-200 players that I’d consider to be amongst my favorite players. Furthermore, most of them aren’t really considered to be amongst the finest players that the sport has produced.

At the same time I was trying to create a starting line-up that would look somewhat feasible on paper. What made it even harder was that Vampy chose to leave Zidane, Pele,  and Maradonna out of his starting XI. I considered it fair sportsmanship to leave them out as well. What a mistake, considering the vast amount of talent that comes behind them. Well, leaving out Maradonna was easy enough, considering that I never really liked the person, but had the outmost respect for the man on the pitch.

At the end of the road I discovered that I am a somewhat sentimental person. I do love a number of players, and can’t let go of them, even if everybody else thinks that these players have no place in all-time world football XI. Some people might even call me insane, and rightly so. I love being insane. Here is my all-time world football XI. Read the rest of this entry

Whatever happened to East German football?

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Statisticly speaking three out of the 18 teams in the Bundesliga should come from the former G.D.R. As a matter of fact not a single Bundesliga club is from East-Germany. Why?

Well, let’s face it. The G.D.R. was never a powerhouse when it came to football. Their national team never won any trophies, or had a team that could stick up to their West-German counterparts. The only big victory the G.D.R. had in its history as a football nation was their 74 victory against West-Germany. Amongst all the losses the West-German football nation had to endure, this one is amongst the worst of its history. Jürgen Sparwasser makes it 1-0 for the G.D.R. Read the rest of this entry

Thoughts about Ronald Reng’s Enke biography, part 2

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Continuing my thoughts about Robert Enke… The words of Theo Zwanziger at Enke’s funeral are still ringing in my ears: why on earth did Zwanziger bring up the issue of homosexual footballers at Enke’s memorial service?

Germany was grieving the death of Robert Enke. A man who wasn’t known for creating a lot of noise around him, like

Theo Zwanziger is popular in the gay community because of his commitment for gay rights.

Jens Lehmann or Oliver Kahn. A keeper’s keeper, as Robert Reng points out. Probably on his way to the World Cup in South Africa, he had committed suicide. DFB-president Theo Zwanziger had the hard task of trying to find the right words at Robert Enke’s memorial service in the AWD-arena. Zwanziger pointed out that German football had to do some soul searching, and had to ask itself some tough questions. Zwanziger thought that it was appropriate to bring up the issue of homosexuality in professional football.
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Thoughts about Ronald Reng’s Enke biography, part 1

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Ronald Reng’s biography about Robert Enke gives an excellent account of how Enke fought his loosing battle against his depressions. But, has the world of German football changed since his death?

Ronald Reng has been a German football journalist of for many years. His specialty: goalkeepers. So, it is no wonder

Ronald Reng's book "Robert Enke - Ein allzu kurzes Leben" is worth a read. It hasn't been translated into English yet.

that Reng can give an excellent description of Robert Enke; the goalkeeper. Enke’s special technique in one on one situations, his excellent abilities as a shot stopper on the line and so forth. Furthermore, Reng was also a friend of Enke. The two of them have shared many moments together and, as Reng writes in the book, the two of them had intended to write the book about Robert Enke’s live together. Reng had to write the book on his own, but still manages to give an accurate picture of the happiest and saddest hours of the life of Robert Enke. His happiest moments at Benfica, the darkness in his mind when he was stationed in Istanbul, and the sudden return of his depression when all seemingly was well in Hannover. Reng manages to draw a picture of thoughtful, funny and polite human being. A good father, and man who tried to be the best husband he could be. Read the rest of this entry