Franz, Bugs Bunny, Studio 54, and the Cosmos

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The 1970s and early 1980s were a very fun soccer era: Aston Villa was actually good, the Basque region was winning La Liga, and there was a league in America trying to be the greatest league in all of the world. Also, in Germany Bayern and Borussia Mönchengladbach were the top clubs. A German legend of the game decided to join the fun and craziness of America: Franz Beckenbauer. “The Kaiser,” in his early 30s when he moved across the Atlantic, already had a World Cup and Euro Championship with […]

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The “Summer fairy tale of 2006” turning into a nightmare for the DFB

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Many football fans have fond memories of the World Cup in Germany in 2006. The Germans showed themselves to be a people who were easy-going and that could party and the rest of the world took notice of the friendly and open nation that had come a far way since the second world war. It was a pivotal moment for many fans all around the world, which saw German football gain many followers, admirers and fans as a result of the national team’s performance on the pitch and because of […]

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Der Kaiser Wears a Tracksuit: The Management Career of Franz Beckenbauer

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The lists compiling football’s best players nearly always include the Franz Beckenbauer fairly high up the order. The German World Cup winning captain of 1974 amassed 103 caps and with his nonchalant style invented the role of the ball-playing libero. His playing career saw the twilight of his days spent in the USA helping to raise the profile of the nascent NASL as well as a return to Germany at Hamburg SV. These moves, however, were not the end of der Kaiser as he moved into management. It is not often […]

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When HSV and VfB Ruled the Bundesliga

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The near double relegation of Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart this past season triggered my memories of more than thirty years earlier when both teams left an indelible mark on me as a new football fan. These two clubs from the opposite poles of the nation (Hamburg from the North; Stuttgart from the South) were then perennial powers in the West German Bundesliga. And in the case of Hamburg, they were a force on the European stage as well. These were the days when the likes of Magath, Hrubesch, Keegan and Kaltz […]

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Big Season Ahead For Mario Götze

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Here’s the picture: a scorer of a World Cup final winning goal, a €37 million record signing, consecutive Bundesliga titles, the poster boy of German football. It all sounds just perfect for Mario Götze. But things have not gone totally according to plan for the attacker, and this upcoming season of his at Bayern Munich is a very important one for young Mario. Two seasons in at the Allianz Arena and his star is not shining quite as brightly in the Bavarian sky as it might. Götze has struggled to […]

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Selling Bastian Schweinsteiger: Pros and Cons

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So the Bayern Munich legend has finally left the club and been reunited with Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.  Many thought this day would never arrive when the symbol of the Bavarian club would opt to play elsewhere, but the seemingly unthinkable has come to pass. Having joined the club as a 14-year-old, Schweini has followed other club legends Xavi, Steven Gerrard and Iker Casillas in moving from the club that identifies so much with them – and vice versa – for new pastures in the twilight of their careers. […]

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Germany at the 1986 World Cup – Part III: Maradona and the Final

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In the final piece of our three-part series profiling Germany’s 1986 World Cup campaign in Mexico, Robert Fielder take a look at one of the most memorable finals of all time in his thrilling Complete History of the World Cup. The 1986 World Cup still remains perhaps Diego Maradona’s finest hour as a footballer and against Germany he encountered one of the biggest challenges of his career.

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Germany at the 1986 World Cup – Part II: Platini, Mexico & The Road to the Final

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Continuing our two-part series about Germany’s 1986 World Cup campaign in Mexico, taken from Robert Fielder’s excellent “The Complete History of the World Cup,” we take a look at the knockout stages of the tournament and Germany’s path to yet another World Cup final. After surviving the Group of Death, Franz Beckenbauer’s Germany came up against surprise package Morocco, who topped a group with England, Poland and Portugal,  a fiesty encounter with hosts Mexico and a French side looking for revenge following the controversial incident four years earlier. See Part […]

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All-Time Germany World Cup XI

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The flow of information during this World Cup has been phenomenal. There has never been more information, apps or websites available to football fanatics who want to follow the beautiful game. One of those sites allows its users to create their ultimate XI for the English national team. Creating such a team does entail a lot of history and it makes the user aware of the historic importance of the current tournament. Today history might be in the making as Germany takes on Portugal. Let’s take a closer look at […]

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Germany at the 1986 World Cup – Part I: The Group of Death

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The 2014 World Cup has officially kicked off in Brazil with the first couple of matches already producing excitement, upsets and plenty of talking points. Joachim Löw’s Germany, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign on Monday against Portugal as they try to end their 18-year international trophy drought and win their first World Cup since 1990. In an excerpt from Robert Fielder “The Complete History of the World Cup” he looks back at the 1986 tournament in Mexico, an era which this current German team can draw a lot of […]

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Beckenbauer and Aicher: A Stylish Link

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Maybe it’s just the way cameras caught the light back then, but somehow in the footage of West Germany’s 1974 World Cup Final victory over Holland, there are moments when Franz Beckenbauer could almost be one of Otl Aicher’s Olympic pictograms. At first, this may seem a simple illusion: high contrast filters and faded film reels. But the closer you watch Beckenbauer step out of that West German defence, head flung back, at ease with all around him, the more he seems to embody the mastery of form and space […]

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Is this the best Bayern Munich of all time?

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Bayern Munich have rewritten the history books this season. They become the first German club in history to win the treble.  More impressively, they did so in dominant fashion, disposing of some of the best teams in European football with relative ease and breaking records every which way.  With three trophies locked up in their cabinet and some time to reflect on a truly unforgettable season, one question remains on everyone’s minds: is this the greatest Bayern Munich side of all time?  Better yet, is this the greatest German club […]

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