Differing Images: Is all good in German football? ⋆ An Old International

Differing Images: Is all good in German football?

While the Bundesliga is currently enjoying an increasingly positive image and profile abroad for very good reasons, the situation on the terraces is rapidly changing to the worse. It has often been described as a problem of lower league clubs and East German clubs, but neo-Nazis are re-gaining the terraces again and are frighteningly undisturbed in doing so.

German football appears to have two faces these days:

Sexy Football, Excellent Grounds, Reasonable Prices

The most recent success of all 7 German clubs in this season’s European competitions (albeit, after the first knockout stage of the Europa League, only 4 clubs are left in Europe) has given German football an incredible image boost abroad and for all the good reasons. It is true that besides Bayern there really was no club that could muster a regular challenge on the European stage. Borussia Dortmund reached the UEFA-Cup final in 2002, lost. Werder Bremen also lost in 2008. Bayern have reached 2 Champions League finals, 2010 and 2012. Additionally to the clubs’ occasional success, the German national team, Die Nationalmannschaft, is currently playing the best football in decades, it has to be said. No one gave them a chance in 2006 when they were automatically qualified as host nation or in 2010 when the team lacked international experience after the loss of Michael Ballack due to injury and Torsten Frings for age reasons. Yet, on both occasions the teams excelled and reached the semi-finals and subsequently came 3rd in both World Cups. Sandwiched in between was the EURO 2008 final, another loss but once more a solid performance. The qualification for EURO 2012 was assured with a maximum of 30 points from 10 matches and surely gave some credibility to the team’s status as favourites. Once more, it was not to be as Italy proved too much – continuing Germany’s dismal record against them – and Jogi L

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