Six decades of uncertainty for Karlsruher SC

Two years ago, Hamburger SV came within seconds of a very first relegation from the Bundesliga. The Dinosaur, the only club to contest each and every Bundesliga campaign since its inception in 1963, were all but down. A 91st-minute equaliser from Chilean international midfielder Marcelo Díaz succeeded in halting the 1983 European Cup winners from…

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The tragedy of Robert Enke

Bodo Illgner, Andreas Köpke, Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann, Manuel Neuer; the list of Germany’s first-choice goalkeepers over the past three decades reads off like a reel of dynastic succession. Not only is it successively easier on the tongue, it also represents some sort of evolution in the goalkeeping lineage, eventually culminating – for now –…

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The damned career of Christoph Metzelder

In the end, it was a career of unfulfilled potential, one cruelly defined by injuries. Christoph Metzelder, ever the optimist, didn’t see it like that though: “I am just thankful for my great career,” he said on his retirement from professional football in 2013. His career, compared to most, was undoubtedly great, but it was…

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Andreas Herzog: the silky Austrian perfectionist

With creative attacking footballers there tends to be stand-out, pivotal moments in their careers; wonderful flashes of genius or spectacular goals that are fondly recalled after they retire. There are countless examples. For Roberto Baggio, the supremely gifted Italian, the magic moment came at the 1990 World Cup when he delicately weaved past several Czech…

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Marco Reus and the inescapable void of his career

On 6 June 2014, Marco Reus’s professional life plunged into darkness. Darkness often touches professional footballers, but for this exceptionally blessed German playmaker, it was a darkness that would come to plague the peak years of his career and lead many to wonder what might have been. A week before Germany started their ultimately triumphant World Cup…

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