Der Ball ist rund und das Spiel dauert 90 Minuten

June 25, 2008

“Der Ball ist rund und das Spiel dauert 90 Minuten” – the ball is round and the match lasts 90 minutes - words of wisdom from Sepp Herberger, known as the ’Miracle from Berne’, most famous as German national coach of the team which won the 1954 World Cup. 

The other night we had something like a miracle from Vienna – Michael Ballack struck a thunderbolt free kick to send an unconvincing Germany through to the quarter-finals of the European Soccer Championshop 2008 with a 1-0 win over co-hosts Austria. Ballack’s free kick, right-footed into the top corner and clocked at 121 kilometres an hour by a German TV station exactly describes, what acording to another German saying, is the whole point of the game, “das Runde muss ins Eckige – the round thing must go in the rectangular thing.

So that is easy enough – isnt it??

1
  
1. Germany’s Michael Ballack (4thL) scores from a free kick during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008.     REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach.  2.  Austria’s goal keeper Juergen Macho fails to save a free kick by Germany’s Michael Ballack during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna June 16, 2008.     REUTERS/Christian Charisius

Here a some good examples picturewise as well as from a German fan’s standpoint, taken with a remote camera behind the goal – Germany’s Podolski scores past Poland’s goalkeeper Boruc during Group B Euro 2008 match in Klagenfurt. Well done and well shot! – you remember: das Runde muss ins Eckige

2

Germany’s Lukas Podolski (top) scores past Poland’s goalkeeper Artur Boruc (bottom) during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt June 8, 2008.   REUTERS/Michael Dalder

3

Same idea, same plan, but this time not what a German soccer fan wants to happen – Croatia’s Srna shoots to score during their Euro 2008 soccer match against Germany in Klagenfurt
    
1. Croatia’s Darijo Srna (L) shoots to score past Germany’s Marcell Jansen (C) and goalkeeper Jens Lehmann during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, June 12, 2008.     REUTERS/Miro Kuzmanovic
2 and 3. Croatia’s Darijo Srna (R) scores past Germany’s goalkeeper Jens Lehmann during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match at the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, June 12, 2008.     REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Germany lost 2-1 to Croatia – which leads me to another shaft of wit and wisdom, again from a German. Greece’s head coach Otto Rehagel once said, ”mal verliert man und mal gewinnen die anderen” – believe it or not – sometimes you lose, sometimes the others win… right! Too bad Rehagel’s team was eliminated after consecutive defeats by Russia and Sweden, ending their hopes of defending the title they won four years ago in Portugal. As the man said, ”sometimes you lose…”.

But back to the German match in question. Big hopes, emotions, tabloid headlines created an exciting atmosphere long before the match. German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived with her Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung to attend the match – it is good to know you are well protected and that “the force is with you” when travelling to Austria.

4
 
German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung (L), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer wait before the Group B Euro 2008 soccer match between Germany and Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna June 16, 2008.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Later on Merkel may well have had some extra lessons in tactic and strategy, when German coach Joachim Loew (as well as Austrias coach Josef Hickersberger) were sent off the pitch by Spanish referee Manuale Mejuto and had to watch the rest of the game from the stands. The double dismissal, which Loew said was due to a dispute with the fourth official, was greeted by jeers from both sets of fans in the capacity 50,000 crowd at Ernst Happel stadium.

5

1.Match referee Manuel Mejuto of Spain (L) speaks to Germany’s coach Joachim Loew (R) and Austria’s coach Josef Hickersberger (C) during the Group B Euro 2008 soccer match between Austria and Germany at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008.     REUTERS/Christian Charisius
2. Germany’s coach Joachim Loew (C) speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after he and Austria’s coach Josef Hickersberger (not pictured) were sent to the stands by match referee Manuel Mejuto of Spain during the first half of the Group B Euro 2008 soccer match between Austria and Germany at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

But whatever happened on the pitch during the match no one will ever care about the details, what counts is who won, no more and no less. I hope that this time the pictures of Michael Ballack celebrating will last a bit longer. All his power, aggression and relief came out after scoring the crucial goal which put the German team ahead 1 – 0.

Here you can see how Germany’s Ballack celebrates his goal

6

Germany’s Michael Ballack (2nd L) celebrates his goal with team mates during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008.     REUTERS/Alex Grimm

7
  
1. Germany’s Michael Ballack (R) celebrates after scoring against Austria as his team mate Clemens Fritz watches during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008.    REUTERS/Christian Charisius
2. Germany’s Michael Ballack celebrates his goal during their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008. REUTERS/ Dominic Ebenbichler

The players and the whole teams are not the only ones celebrating victories – there are always fans. They carefully prepare, paint, dress and put all their energy into drive their teams to victory – and sometimes it works…

8

1. A Germany fan waits before their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008.     REUTERS/Alex Grimm
2. Germany fans sing before their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna June 16, 2008. REUTERS/Alex Grimm
3. A Germany fan cheers before their Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Austria at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna June 16, 2008.     REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler
4. A Germany fan waits before the Group B Euro 2008 soccer match against Austria at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, June 16, 2008.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
  

but for the Austrians not this time.

 9

Austrian soccer fans react after Germany scores a goal while they watch the Group B Euro 2008 match in the centre of Klagenfurt June 16, 2008.   REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Emotions run high. Switzerland’s captain Alex Frei, the Borussua Dortmund striker, was devastated when he ruptured a knee ligament at the start of the tournament, ”My dream is destroyed but the team’s dream goes on,” he said. It was a disappointment shared by the team and supporters of co-hosts Switzerland.

10
  
Switzerland’s Alex Frei reacts as he is escorted off the pitch after a challenge by Czech Republic’s Zdenek Grygera  during their Group A Euro 2008 soccer match at St Jakob Park stadium in Basel June 7, 2008.     REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

Tonight Germany play Turkey - “mal verliert man und mal gewinnen die anderen”!

2 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

There was shot, missing the goal but hitting one of the remote cameras behind it. You could see the camera flying to the right, the lens flying to the left. Ouch!
It wasn’t one of yours, was it?

I have been searching for a photo of the helicopter dropping the bomb on Operation MOVE in Philadelphia in 1985. If anyone can help me with this, my email address is winwharton@gmail.com and I would be very grateful

Posted by Winn Wharton | Report as abusive