An Old International

Bernd Bransch, 1944 – 2022

There are few players who are remembered by one photograph only. Bernd Bransch was one of them. His mos famour photo was a hand shake with Franz Beckenbauer ahead of the only all-German football in June 1974. Most importantly, it was Bransch whose goals got the GDR there. Read more →

Kylian Mbappé – hostage of money?

The news that Kilian Mbappé, one of the best players during the 2018 World Cup, has signed a new contract with his current employer, PSG, France’s financial and footballing powerhouse, has shaken the football world. How would that affect the French league? Would it change anything? Read more →

Paris Party People: PSG feminine – Olympique Lyon feminine

The Parc des Princes was vibrant on a chilly evening when the PSG ladies hosted their counterparts from Olympique Lyon. Read more →

It’s not where you’re at, it’s where you’re from

Looking back always includes the dangers of regrets yet sometimes it is helpful to remind oneself of past struggles. Read more →

Joachim Streich, 1951 – 2022

Joachim Streich was one of the household names in GDR football, scoring goals galore.
With the premature passing away of Joachim Streich at the age of 71, football fans and particularly East German football fans mourn the loss of another great of the game. He was the GDR’s record international player with 102 caps and 55 goals. His exploits for club and country are impressive: a bronze medal at the Munich Olympics 1972, a sixth place finish at the 1974 World Cup, GDR cup winner 1978, 1979 and 1983, record scorer in the GDR Oberliga and in the national team, top scorer in the league in 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983, footballer of the year 1979 and 1983. He captained the national team in his last international match in September 1984 at Wembley against England where the GDR narrowly lost 1-0.

His career began in his native town of Wismar at the Baltic Sea before he earned a call-up of local giants Hansa Rostock. It was here where he began his top-level career. However, his move to Magdeburg came about under what today must be seen as corrupt circumstances. In the last match of the 1974/75 season, Streich wasted a penalty for Rostock which sealed their relegation. As an international player he could not afford to play in the second division so he naturally wanted to move. His team of choice was Jena but the East German FA had the final word by “offering” him a move to Magdeburg or to stay put. With the Olympics and the European Championships just around the corner, the choice was made. It was not the worst as Streich continued just as before, scoring 13 goals the following season and immediately showed his worth. Thankfully, he was never seriously injured which meant he was always there. As a centre forward he knew where the goal was – his record of 229 goals for Rostock and Magdeburg is proof of that. From 1976 until 1985 Streich was always Magdeburg’s best goal scorer, something that no one has achieved ever since. Only Christian Beck came close.

Immediately after he stopped playing he swapped sides and forthwith coached Magdeburg. Under his guidance Magdeburg recorded their worst result since 1970 by finishing in 7th place. He left Magdeburg on an upward trajectory in 1990 when they finally had a team that could challenge for silverware. That season’s 3rd place was the best result Magdeburg was to achieve until 1997 but by then Streich was no longer working as a coach. He was one of the first to move westward in 1990 to coach Eintracht Braunschweig, then in the second division but was released of his duties with 11 games to go. His return to Magdeburg was short-lived; he was sacked in March 1992. His final stop as a coach was with FSV Zwickau in 1996/97 and managed to avoid relegation form Bundesliga 2. After that he retired definitely from football.

He was one of the most approachable former players possibly, as he worked in a sports store in Magdeburg and happily answered questions while people chose their new trainers or their kids tried out the latest football boots.
During the last years he has been a vocal critique of Magdeburg, particularly during the difficult seasons that followed Magdeburg’s relegation in 2019. He was widely criticized by many a fan for his opinions.

Streich, who suffered from Myelodysplastic syndrome, passed away on April 16, 2022 – a couple of days after his 71st birthday.

Good writing does not come by chance, so consider a little tip:

Valenciennes vs SM Caen

The season in France’s second division is fast approaching the final straight and Valenciennes find themselves hovering just above the relegation zone after their draw against Dijon the last weekend. The opposition today, SM Caen, come with the confidence of having thoroughly beaten the division’s high flyers Toulouse FC 4-1 and three wins from their last five matches. This is something Valenciennes hope to achieve somehow as their stats read: played five, drawn three, won one, lost one. That in itself is not too bad at all but carries no guarantee for security, i.e. remaining in Ligue 2 at the end of the season. Given that Dijon are also in the quagmire gives little reason to be overly cheerful, yet hope shall never be discounted. Read more →

Magdeburg’s statement of support

The world has become a different one over the past fortnight and once again football may become of secondary importance for quite a while.

The expressions of solidarity with Ukraine come aplenty and are endearing. It is a sign that people share their thoughts with those people in urgent need.

It is in this situation that FC Magdeburg have decided to make a stand on the pitch by swapping their usual white shorts for yellow ones and thus sporting the colours of Ukraine.

Magdeburg's Luca Schuler wearing the colours of Ukraine

Sadly, some idiots among the away fans had nothing better to do than to ignite fireworks inside the ground and after their team had equalised. Such is their stupidity and ignorance that they just could not behave and act mature. Thanks to Magdeburg still sitting at the top of the table, the Saxony-Anhalt derby will be a thing of the past for at least next season. And this is OK.

Slide and Jump

The good news don’t stop coming for 1. FC Magdeburg. Their recent results read played five, won three with two draws at 14 goals scored with five conceded. A year ago, the picture looked much bleaker, there was genuine fear the Club might go down. Among these five games there were two top games which were indeed the best promotion for this division. Read more →

“I never had to announce so many goals”: Valenciennes vs Nancy

A relegation battle in the French second division on a Tuesday night: Valenciennes hosted Nancy in early February to hoist themselves up from the relegation zone. The first half provided a spectacle while the second was rather low-key. Read more →

Magdeburg and Saarbrücken provided a rare spectacle

Sometimes a good match comes along when you least expect it. Read more →