A revised and updated paperback edition of Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger's acclaimed history of German football, first published in 2002.
This history of football in Germany is well written, funny and tragic. There were so many things that I learnt from this. From the way teams were named and originated to stories that just make you laugh out loud and others that reduce you to tears.
As an example there is the story of a player signed by a team who said "They wanted to give me a third of the gate receipts. I told them No Way. I won't accept less than a quarter."
To think that the Germans had no professionalism or national league until 1963. The way that the national federation controlled the game and looked on professionalism as a disease to be fought off is unbelievable to us.
This book proves that there is more to German football than Bayern Munich. It shows how team rose and fell and how the game developed from an "unpatriotic" and "foreign" one into a world beater. This teaches us about the German people and their view of us and other countries.
They are bemused at our image of them and do not understand our rivalry and obession with the War that pervades the meetings between our countries.
I highly recommend this to every who wants to gain an insight into the history and development of the game in Germany.
It's written in such an entertaining style and is so informative. There are loads of stories, from the stories behind team names such as Energie Cottbus and Carl Zeiss Jena, to detailed looks at significant figures in German football history from Franz Beckenbauer to Lothar Matthaus, from Gerd Muller to Rudi Voller. Then there are the tales of German football during the Nazi Era, from players who went missing and those whose fate was all to obvious.
There is a detailed account of football from the old East Germany. It is divided into a different section, as it should be, from the West German football league. Then came reunification and the players who found bigger fame once they moved to the West from the East, Jens Jeremies and Sebastian Deisler being two such players.
This is not just a straight, German football history book. It's too well written for that. It is one of the best football books I've read and I've read many. There are many lighter moments in here too, you will be laughing out loud to. Sehr gut und Einfach klasse!