To The Deutschland Mannshaft, Vielen Dank!

Monday, June 30, 2008

"Football-Fever" courtesy of konr4d

Sunday, June 29th, Germany lost in the Euro 2008 to Spain. While I was hoping to be celebrating a German victory, I wanted to thank the team for what they brought to their fans and to Germany. So to the German Team (Deutschland Mannschaft), Vielen Dank (Thank you very much)! Thank you also to Austria and Switzerland for hosting the Euro 2008.

Germany loves its soccer (fussball) but the country comes together when there is a World Cup or Euro competition and their team is in the thick of things. Not being a native German I can look outside in. It is nice to see all the German flags on the cars and to see the mood change of your every day people. I’m certainly not the biggest soccer fan, but I really enjoy watching these international tournaments.

Prior to the game I was watching the pre-game coverage and saw a story about the Michael Ballak, the German captain. It seems that the big victory has eluded him for much of his career. He and Chelsea lost a penalty-kick shootout to Manchester United in the Champions League this year in Moscow, after also being beaten by Manchester United in the English Premier League title. His Bayer Leverkusen lost to Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League finals. His 2000 and 2004 German national teams were knocked out in the first round of the Euro tournament. He was suspended in the semi-finals and forced to watch the German team lose to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup finals. His German team finished third in the 1996 World Cup hosted by Germany. To be so close to the big prise has to be very frustrating. While he is 31, and can probably play for some time to come, you have to wonder how many more chances he’ll get to really grasp the big prize? I ran across a nice story about The Burden of Michael Ballack if you want to check it out.

It was exciting watching the tournament this year, there was certainly no shortage of highs and lows. The semi-final against Turkey was very memorable, there were power outages, attempts at having audio only coverage on television, and finally coverage from Swiss television because a storm had disrupted coverage from Austria. Oh, and yes, Germany scored a goal in the closing moments to go to the final. Earlier the German team looked very good against Portugal and looked like they were really in the race after a disappointing game against Austria that they somehow managed to win, they seemed to be a different team.

After the 2002 World Cup Finals, where they lost to Brazil, the German team received a huge welcome in Frankfurt. I was so surprised to see all the fanfair. I’m used to people forgetting who was the losing team in the Super Bowl or the World Series or other major sporting events in the U.S., so it came as a shock to see the country celebrating that their team finished second in the World Cup. I thought at the time, if they celebrated this strongly for finishing second, imagine what it would be like if they had won? After the 2006 third place finish in the World Cup, there was a huge celebration in Berlin. Well, lets see about the 2010 World Cup. Congratulations to Spain on their victory and Danke to the German Team. Did you have any favorite moments of the Euro2008? If you like the blog, feel free to add us to your rss feed or subscribe via email. We welcome your comments.

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