Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bundesliga 1 - Freiburg ist Dabei!

TSA will be departing tomorrow morning to report on the most eagerly awaited club game in European football this weekend....that's right, it's the Bundesliga 2 meeting of SC Freiburg and TuS Koblenz this Sunday!

Freiburg are one of four teams battling for promotion from German football's second tier, and Sunday's final round of fixtures promises to provide much transistor radio-based tension.
With Karlsruher SC already guaranteed promotion, Hansa Rostock (59 pts), MSV Duisburg and Freiburg (both 57 pts), and Greuther Furth (54 pts) are the contenders for the remaining two places. Of those three, only Greuther Furth play a team in the top half of the table - the leaders, Karlsruhe - but while Rostock and Duisburg's opponents (Rot-Weiss Essen and SpVgg Unterhaching...excuse me, frog in my throat) are fighting the drop, 12th place Koblenz are safe.

Freiburg, in the south-western Baden-Wurttemberg region, was one of the corners of der Vaterland we didn't make it to during last summer's World Cup odyssey, but I have it on impeccable authority that the best of German hospitality awaits. Indeed, it will be nice to see Germany - and German football - in its normal attire, stripped of the FIFA party clothes of last June.

We did spend a night in Koblenz, and if motivation is needed at all to cheer on the Freiburgers on Sunday, a quick recollection of our hotel in that town should do the trick. A gloomy 1970s affair, decorated in beige formica and plastic, it felt like something from a Len Deighton spy novel. How many unfortunate spooks met their demise at the other end of a silenced Luger in this place, I thought, turning over in the narrow, lumpy bed?

I have high hopes for Freiburg, on the other hand, seeing as how it is the largest city to have a mayor from the Bundnis '90/Die Grunen party, a groovy sounding amalgamation of civil rights groups and Greens. It's also the hometown of German national team coach Joachim Loew, the eager Robin to Jurgen Klinsmann's shirt-sleeved Batman during last season's heady World Cup run by the home side. On the other hand, another native was Nazi eugenicist Hans Guenther, a proponent of an unpleasant sounding idea called "biological nationalism." Hmmm.

Barring any heated debates on the merits of selective sterilisation, a fine time is anticipated, hopefully capped by a beer and bratwurst promotion party at the Badenova-Stadion on Sunday.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

more of a RWE man myself.

I saw them seal promotion to Bundesliga 2 in 1992 with a 3-1 victory over Eintracht Trier in the famous Georg Melches Stodion in Essen. Juergen Roeber's star was rising as we bade farewell to our opponents (singing Fahr nach hause Eintracht Trier) and the 3rd division (oberliga nie mehr!). They've had a bit of a dip since due to financial irregularities, and the Roeber went on to take Hertha Berlin into the Champions league before again leaving under a certain amount of controversy.

The next time RWE's and my path crossed was when trying to shore up a shaky Napoli defence by attempting to sign their star player and veteran goalkeeper Frank Kurth, but he refused since he was due to retire. I remember a fan turning to me saying (Frenkie Kurth namber one goalkeeper!" as only Germans can).

Let's hope RWE survive, their tshirts saying " RWE 2-1 Schalke 04, ich war dabei" must be getting pretty tatty be now.

3:37 p.m.  

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