Strip Club–Tip Out Edition
As I’ve written before, Euro 2000 was one of my favorite and most memorable soccer tournaments ever. During a window in the late 90’s to early 2000’s, I turned from casual fan into full-on Soccer Nerd. During those years I was reading, watching, coaching and playing to a level that raised the game to an obsession (an unhealthy one my wife might add) in my life.
One of the disappointments of that tournament was Germany. The defending European champions had crashed out against Croatia at the 1998 World Cup and began defense of their title with a strong Bayern Munich contingent, a sprinkling of German contributions in the English Premier League and some domestically based stars.
The Germans were drawn in a group with Romania, England and Portugal. In the opener, Mehmet Scholl pegged back the Romanians with a goal to secure a point (his goal is early in the video). Next up was England, and Alan Shearer doomed Die Mannschaft to an early exit with a headed goal, marking the first time that England had won a competitive match against Germany since the 1966 World Cup final.
Portugal added insult to injury with a 3-0 demolition via a hat trick from Sérgio Conceição. The winger nodded in Pauleta’s shot cum cross at the back post before getting laid out by Kahn to open the scoring. Conceição then danced around Hamann and hit a shot right at the German keeper, which somehow he didn’t save. Later in the second half, Conceição was released down the right hand channel and thumped his shot home to the far post.
The poor performance of the Germans started a rebuilding process that is paying dividends to this day. Two years later Germany were in the World Cup Final. They made the World Cup Semi-Finals in 2006 on home soil and were Runners-Up at Euro 2008. Another Semi-Final appearance at World Cup 2010 was followed up by Semi-Final defeat by Italy at Euro 2012. The team is poised for great things at the 2014 World Cup with players hitting their prime and Bayern Munich finding domestic and European success.
As for the jersey itself, I got it in unique circumstances. The BIGGBY franchisee I worked for had three daughters. The oldest daughter’s husband was in town on break from military service and was looking for a soccer game. I hooked him up at a local facility and afterwards he said he had a jersey that he didn’t really wear or want. So I took the bait. Turns out it was the Germany away shirt from Euro 2000, which was seen in the game against England.
In my research, I found this information from Picking up the Threads about the color green being used:
The German away kit is traditionally green and white; there is a widespread urban myth that this was a mark of respect that Ireland retained neutrality in WWII, or they played their first post-war friendly against them; however neither of these stories are true (it was in fact Switzerland who West Germany first played a post-war friendly against in 1950). The colours of the away kit actually reflect the colours found on the flag of the second biggest kingdom of ancient Germany; Hannover and Saxony.
The shirt is a little big and can get a touch heavy during hot conditions, but I love the look. Adidas incorporated the German flag into the collar, bands on the sleeves and the three stars representing each World Cup victory. One of the coed teams I played on recently used green as their team color, so I made sure to wear it every once in a while. I enjoy watching this current German team, so break out the jersey occasionally during International weekends. For the 2013 Champions League Final, I wore it to the Watch Party as I didn’t support either Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund. It’s a nice collector’s item but not a heavy part of the rotation.