Alongside The Independent, Kit Holden observes German Football for various online portals, including The Bundesliga Fanatic, Deutsche Welle and Total Football Magazine. In 2012, he spent a short time at the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, and he is also a regular guest on World Football Daily.
For Löw and his side, 2013 will be a year for reform. The trials exposed various psychological shortcomings which must be sorted, but Löw’s talents as a coach, and the quality and breadth of the resources available to him are still in no doubt.
German fans are concerned not with blind loyalty to the name of their club, or their right to “reclaim” racist terminology, but with the essence of fandom, and the prosperity of the game as a social entity.
Rarely has the Ruhr been seen as a haven of creativity and artistry. Only on the football field can Germany’s industrial strongholds ever enchant the watching world with aesthetic excellence. But boy how they can.
This week is a big one for Lukas Podolski. For the first time since his move to Arsenal, the homesick son of Cologne has a chance to show the Bundesliga just how much he has grown up, and just how well he is settling in to his new life in London, as his new side face Schalke 04 in the Champions League.
The shirts of Germany’s top flight players will this weekend be adorned with a unanimous slogan: “Geh deinen Weg” (“Go your own way”) as part of the weekly Integrations-Spieltag (Integration Matchday). The message of integration is primarily in support of young members of the immigrant community but following an interview with an anonymous gay footballer in the German magazine “Fluter”, it is the homophobia debate which has begun to take centre stage.
Founded by Turkish immigrants in 1978, Türkiyemspor is a byword for multiculturalism in Berlin. Nowadays, the club does not just represent Turks, but anyone and everyone within Kreuzberg’s vibrant community. Now, despite their cult status, the club is on the brink of financial oblivion.