Join Date: Sep 2008
Club: FC Bayern München
Player: Kalle, Kaiser, & Uli
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Really Interesting Article *Spoilers everything before this was posted*
And here's the part I found most interesting:
There is, however, an entirely different cause for concern, and that leads us back to what is happening on the pitch, not in the stands. In this case, Bayern's gut-wrenching defeat in the Champions League last Saturday.
Yes, you could just shrug your shoulders and say that these things happen in sport. You could say that the Munich giants were very unlucky, somehow let the game slip out their grasp and then didn't have the nerve or the confidence it takes to win a penalty shoot-out. But it's precisely these things - making your own luck, taking your chances when they present themselves, being cold and efficient - Bayern used to pride themselves on.
And not only Bayern. Ahead of the final, many Chelsea fans I spoke to said what they feared most was the proverbial German winning mentality and ability to turn it on when it counts. Plus, yes, the legendary German infallibility in penalty shoot-outs.
Which only proves that some people cling to their stereotypes way past their sell-by dates. Because it's not at all as if Bayern's defeat was a singular occurrence. On the contrary, any other outcome would have bucked the trend.
In the past ten years, four different German clubs - Bayern, Bremen, Dortmund and Leverkusen - have reached five major finals... and lost them all. During that same span, the national team have reached two major finals... and lost both. That makes seven losses in seven finals in ten years.
The record isn't much better when we look at the last hurdle, the semi-finals of big international competitions or tournaments. The national team have lost two of them in those ten years, while four club sides - Bremen, Bayern, Hamburg and Schalke - shared that fate. Hamburg and Schalke even twice. (Though Hamburg were pitted against another Bundesliga team in one of their semis, so a German defeat couldn't be helped there.)
Put differently, we somehow have, on both club and national-team level, acquired an unfortunate habit of losing the big ones. There's one more chance, though, to stop this trend before we all go into the summer break. It's only two weeks until Euro 2012. See you then.
With the exception of Bayern winning the CL final on penalties, German teams, club or country, haven't won anything in the new millennium. Whether this has to do with the younger generation not having the same mental strength as previous ones, less money with more commercialization of the game helping England and Spain more, or other issues, Germany and German clubs have been subpar compared to how they've performed in previous decades, and that unbreakable mental strength that used to once typify German teams has been somewhat subdued.
"Keep going, always keep going!" - Oliver Kahn, 1999