Tor! The Story of German Football
does exactly "what it says on the tin". As the author explains, his aim was to write an entertaining history of the German game. He has certainly achieved his goal, or "tor" as they would say in Germany. Hesse-Lichtenberger sets out to prove that football in Germany is not necessarily the efficient, predictable machine that those of us believing in the German stereotype might think. Again, he succeeds. From the foundation of the game to the present day (and dare I mention the historic 5-1 defeat at the hands of the English in Munich in September 2001), the narrative finds plenty of room to include the quirky, amusing and unexpected. The seemingly curious names of many German club sides are dissected, while the fact that the national side managed to win the 1954 World Cup before the advent of the first professional national league only serves to amaze. The author proclaims his belief that it is people who shape events, and misses no opportunity to investigate the diverse personalities who have made the German game what it is, from the obsession of Herberger to the maverick brilliance of Netzer. The upshot is a wonderfully colourful history, and one that will no doubt surprise even most the avid of Europhile football followers. The latest in the line of recent books in English on European football, Tor!
, like a number of German teams of the past, is a clear winner. --Trevor Crowe
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A model of how history should be written. -- Four Four Two
Beautifully crafted... demolishes myths with the cold-blooded efficiency of a literary Gerd Muller -- Times
Very good... Tor! reveals that German football is more prone to self-doubt than self-promotion. -- Observer