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Supporters Club

In Germany, Football Is Passion, Passion Is Football

Today in Supporters Club, we will be celebrating our beautiful and diverse cultures in South Africa. We hear from Soccer Laduma international editor Dave Kappel about his experience growing up and playing football in Germany, and how it led to a life in South Africa.

"Hi all, in honour of Heritage Day, I was asked to write about my personal football heritage," he wrote. 

"As some of you may know, I'm originally from Germany, and we are crazy about football. I have been playing football from a young age and reached a level where my salary could sponsor my studies as well as apartment costs. My father used to watch the German Bundesliga every week, so did both my grandfathers and, as a consequence, so did I. The men of the family come together to watch football every week on TV, and Champions League football nights were always special nights. I remember the 1999 UCL final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United. As a die-hard Bayer Leverkusen fan, I was a Bayern hater in my youth, and so was my dad. As such, we supported United and, boy, did we shout when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned the game in the dying minutes!

"There is a great football heritage in Germany, with no other sport coming close to the sport of heart. The passion is shown in the high attendance figures and passionate fan displays week in and week out in the stadiums. Also, the German national team, 'Die Manschaft', regularly breaks TV audience records for their biggest games at World Cup and European Championships, which tend to happen in the German summer, and the whole country rallies behind the team.

"If I compare the German football heritage and passion to South Africa, I can see similarly passionate fans, but I'm always deeply saddened to see the empty stadiums – I'd rather play/watch football in a fully packed 2 000-seater stadium than in a super-empty white elephant. Anyway, this is drifting off to another debate…

"How do I conclude? In Germany, football is passion, passion is football. There is only football, football and football, no cricket or rugby for a young German boy to watch out for."

Do you think our country would be different if football was our only sport?

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