It’s one of the most bizarre managerial appointments, the decision by ex-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola to take the Munich hot seat. Although last year’s Champions League finalist are one of the most famous clubs in world football, it was such a shock to most as Chelsea’s pursuit of the Spaniard has been well documented over the years. So with everyone jumping on the bandwagon of German football, I decided to write on a league I’ve been watching for years, and tell you why exactly you should be climbing aboard.
It was back in the July 2009 when this crusade began. Obafemi Martins, remember him? He was transferring from English club Newcastle to Wolfsburg. It seemed a great move for the player, leaving a team that had just been relegated from their division, to a team who had just won theirs. Then came a bizarre statement that got the arm chair pundits chuckling. ‘ The Bundesliga will soon be the best league in the world’. I have to be honest I did look rather oddly at the statement, even though I was a supporter of Borussia Dortmund and more importantly a supporter of German football. I never once believed that in a few year’s time that I would be considering the Bundesliga of holding some of Europe’s most prized possession.
Some of the stars produced in the Bundesliga have been phenomenal, a lot of the credit has to go the German national team, and more importantly to Joachim Low, who in 2008 and 2010 gave some of the most impressive German youths a chance to shine. These included Real Madrid stars Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira. Some of the current squad in the World Cup qualifiers are also awfully young to be full internationals; Reus, Gotze, Hummels, Gundogan are all under the age of 24. This is so fresh and appealing to me; watching a nation known for its stubborn approach now injecting the world of football with a new era of youthful free flowing football.
Another point that has to be applauded is how ‘homophobic’ (in the words of Phil Brown) the German nation of football is; out of the last 30 players to make an appearance for the German team only five play outside of Germany. It can only be compared with English football, and to some degree Italian football.
Fans love a sing-song. The fans in Germany are incredible. Better then England? Yes. Best in the World? Yes. It’s incredible, it’s like a mash up of Lech Poznan and The Kop on a European night. It’s amazing, it would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but it’s not only on big nights, it’s every game. The Allianz Arena and the Iduna Park are two stadiums that put the DW and Craven Cottage to shame. 13 stadiums in Germany hold over 50,000 people, and most weekends they fill 80% of them. You can pick up a child ticket for Borussia Dortmund matches for as little as 10 quid, while adult tickets cost 20. Not bad? It gets better. There’s a cap on the amount of season tickets sold, this means that more fans get to see the games, not just the same fans time and time again. And it gets even better. Once you have your match ticket, you can use the rail system to get you to the game your attending for free.
So in a country where drink, food, chanting and great football is a love, it seems England and Germany may have something in common after all.