12:00 AM, July 16, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

German football: Re-defined

German football: Re-defined

Shahriar Feroze

GARY Lineker, the once prolific England striker, had defined football as: “a simple game: twenty-two men chase a ball for ninety minutes and at the end which the Germans win." Germany doesn't need your help; they'll probably win without it. The definition may not be true under all circumstances but at least in this World Cup it held out. It took around 24 years of painstaking wait to see my favourite team lifting the world cup. The wait was worth it?  
Germany and German football both are understood differently in this part of the world. Most would say they are machines and have added only mechanical aspects to modern football which is not true. In Bangladesh, however, this perception of German football has been prevailing over a span of 3 decades. What happened concurrently during the over two decades of wait was I finished my school, college and university and experienced a team evolving out of the shadows of Matthaus and Klinsmann gradually reaching the heights for restoring their pride as world champions. And not only through sheer teamwork but passion which seemed controlled and disciplined. German football is a blend of a good number of ingredients, which apart from system and discipline are: patience, passion, skills, passing, scoring, and foremost playing so that others play and win it. Also to be noted is that German or European football never got branded in the sub-continent like the Latin football. It's because the frenetic Bangladeshi fans have always fancied the individual techniques, glamour and goal scoring success stories of a Maradona or a Messi. Undeniably where the star himself gets bigger than the team and it's this idol worship, which to a greater extent keeps the fans supporting either Brazil or Argentina.
It was just depressing to see what agony failing to score by an individual could inflict upon the Latin teams in the just concluded World Cup. And it's exactly this 'individual' factor that becomes more nakedly expressive in our country. You either explode in frenzy or indulge in everlasting grief for at least the next four years. Well this time the scene is moderate as Germany is not that admired and as the Latin shocks are too hard to absorb by their fans.
However, defining the German type of football still requires a bit more of explaining. From the lenses of a fan-cum-analyst this is the first time that the Germans have evidently experimented with Tiki-taka football (a style of play in football characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels for maintaining possession) and gave the style an added flavour of discipline, rhythm and tenacity. What makes a great game even greater is how you can make it more amusing by adding newer dimensions. The Germans have innovated and displayed their version of Tiki-taka football and the rest is as Lineker said, 'a game which the Germans win'.

The writer is Current Affairs Analyst, The Daily Star


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