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Not much ‘typically German’ about this Bayern Munich team
What did Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson mean when he criticised Bayern Munich players for what he said was their attempt to influence Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli after Rafael Da Silva fouled Franck Ribery?
“They all rushed towards the referee,” Ferguson told British TV, complaining about the second yellow card that got his right back sent off. “Typical Germans.”
A look at the line-up shows there were only five Germans on the pitch for Bayern, plus two Dutchmen, one Frenchman, one Belgian, one Argentine and one Croat so strictly speaking there was not much typically German about the team. The two players near the referee were Frenchman Franck Ribery and Dutchman Mark van Bommel. Some at the match said the referee was reaching for the card in his pocket long before Ribery started protesting.
Whatever you think of Ferguson’s Weltanschauung it does raise a question about whether big Champions League sides can retain their traditional characteristics when they all have such large League of Nations squads.
What would a typically German performance be anyway? For some it might be the ability to neutralise sides with supposedly much better players and reputations for playing better football and end up worthy winners (think the World Cup finals of 1954 and 1974).
Could that have been what Ferguson, if only subconsciously, had in mind?
PHOTO: Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben celebrates after scoring during their Champions League quarter-final, second leg soccer match against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, April 7, 2010. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis