Saturday, February 25, 2012

Otto's Comeback


How to succeed without a George Clooney lookalike between the posts? Can a 73-year-old coach, who is believed to be social conservative and very authoritative, handle a Bundesliga with loads of experienced player in their early twenties? And will we see the return of the sweeper?

Questions upon questions. It's up to Otto Rehhagel (with double-'h'!) to start answering. Today, 15:30 CET, FC Augsburg v Hertha BSC.
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bayer Leverkusen and Messi: Going, going, gone!

Charityjersey
When dreams come true: Michal Kadlec' and Manuel Friedrich's most ardent wish obvviously was to swap their work gear with the planet's best player. At their recent encounter with Barça the Bayer Leverkusen defensemen finally both got their object of desire, as Friedrich exchanged shirts with Lionel Messi already by halftime.

He thereby was just a few seconds faster than Kadlec, who devised to do the same. Like teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.

Thus Bayer sports director Rudi Völler told a newspaper in one of his trademark rants: „I guarantee, that Kadlec and Friedrich will auction their Messi shirts for a good cause. What they have done has certainly been somewhat too much of a good thing."

You win some, you lose some.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bruno Labbadia: Be Quiet And Dive


Current VfB Stuttgart manager Bruno Labbadia may be on the brink of his sacking after a lousy start in 2012, but has seen better times. A Bundesliga champion as a player with both Kaiserslautern and Bayern, most notably his stint at the first-mentioned club lead to his reputation of being a worthy successor of Gerd Müller.

Perhaps this kind of appraisal was slightly overstated, but have you ever seen "Der Bomber" finding the net shortly after awkwardly diving two times inside the box? No? Well... handsome Bruno did so in 1991 when he won the title with the "Red Devils":

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Rudi Assauer: Fading memories of my life

"There are artificial knees, new hip joints, while others enjoy life with a cardiac pacemaker. But the head. The bonce. It can't come worse."

— Rudi Assauer, 2011

The last time I saw Rudi Assauer at a local gas station, he was like a goddamn boss. As always. Smoking one of his trademark cigars (at a gas station!) he carried a huge stack of newspapers under his arm as he headed to his limousine. What means that he still was interested in current affairs and also was able to get things done on his own. This happened less than two years ago.

The 67-year-old, however, then already had to deal with difficulties to articulate himself and occasional blackouts over the last few years. These problems were probably one of the reasons for his inglorious retirement as Schalke manager in 2006 and rumours that he might be an alcoholic one year earlier.

In 2010 Assauer finally underwent an examination at a specialty hospital in Essen. Sad diagnosis: Alzheimer's disease. Since then his condition has deteriorated significantly. He had to give up driving and was constrained to sell his villa and move to his daughter subsequently. But Rudi has always been a fighter and so he started to take the bull by the horns. As a consequence he allowed public-service TV broadcaster ZDF to follow him for about a year and wrote down his memoirs with support of sportswriter Patrick Strasser.

"Wie ausgewechselt: Verblassende Erinnerungen an mein Leben" (English: "Like having been substituted: Fading memories of my life") was published yesterday, February 2nd 2012.

Wish him all the best!

————————————

Senior career stats:
1963-1964 SpVgg Herten 24 (3)
1964-1970 Borussia Dortmund 119 (8)
1970-1976 SV Werder Bremen 188 (4)

Honours as player:
DFB-Pokal: 1964-65 (with Borussia Dortmund)
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1965-66 (with Borussia Dortmund)

Managing career:
1976-1981 SV Werder Bremen
1981-1986 FC Schalke 04
1990-1993 VfB Oldenburg
1993-2006 FC Schalke 04

Honours as manager:
UEFA Cup: 1996-97 (with Schalke 04)
DFB-Pokal: 2000-01 & 2001-02 (with Schalke 04)
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Breath of Roses

Paul > Moussa (Screenshot: "Transfermarkt.de")

Who has been the hottest shit on the German version of football transfers website "Transfermarkt" last week? Messi, Moussa Sow or new NUFC signing Papiss Demba Cissé? No, the profile page of "Paul Janke", 30, got all the attention.

But what is so special about a veteran midfielder playing for Hamburg based 5th division side "Niendorfer TSV"? Well... if I might say so: his footballing market value may be estimated as zero, but in his private live he seems to know how to score. Paul is chief character in the second season of "The Bachelor" on German TV.
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