“Life gets complicated when you love one woman and worship eleven men” - Nick Hornby
In Germany, all sports pale into insignificance compared to football. Victory in the 2014 World Cup illustrated how fanatical the nation is. Weekafter week, thousands of fans visit stadiums allover the vast country with millions of others glued to their televisions. From north to south, east to west, football is a phenomenon there that connects people from all walks of life. It is the german folk opera, their religion. In terms of active participation, the German Football Association (DFB) connects more than 26,000 registered clubs in 2,381 leagues, starting with the Bundesliga. That adds up to more than three million players of different ages celebrating their love of the sport every week.
In the shadow of the big arenas, where the superstars shine and earn their millions, are smaller clubs where the stakes are just as high for those engrossed within them. From winning the German championship to defeating a neighbouring village, it's all the same to them. Even in the smallest villages, bereft of local amenities, exists a football club, feeding the local appetite for 90 minutes each week. Crowds of eight or 80,000 are transfixed on the ball. It is their globe and in that moment everythingelse seems light years away.
© Christian A. Werner, 2013-2016