I wrote the other day that I couldn’t decide as to who I wanted to win, Bayern or Dortmund, that wasn’t strictly true. Truth was I secretly wanted Dortmund to win, although I’m not entirely sure why, but I didn’t want to curse it by saying that out loud or writing it rather. The reason being that each of the previous times I wanted something to happen and I wrote about, it didn’t happen. For example, I wanted an all German Champions League final in Berlin, that obviously can’t happen because there’s only one German team left. I also wanted Freiburg to get through to the semi finals of the Pokal and they got knocked out in the quarter final by Wolfsburg. And to return to the Champions League, I wanted Bayern and Barcelona not to get drawn together in the semis and of course they did.
As things turned out, I got what I wanted, Dortmund beat Bayern in a penalty shoot-out. I know that the Pokal is increasingly dominated by the big teams in recent years and that this year is no exception but I still think the phrase “the magic of the Pokal” deserves to be used here. Only in games like this can special things happen, incredible things that you will never see at any other time or in any other place. Things like two Bayern players consecutively missing penalties and then Mario Götze having his effort saved by Mitchel Langerak. Just to top things off, Manuel Neuer took the fourth and missed. People are always talking about how he thinks he’s an outfield player and how he could probably play as one, I’m sure this won’t dent his confidence any but he may think twice before willingly stepping up to the penalty spot again. He’ll never live it down that’s for sure. I’m curious as to if it would have gone any differently had Weidenfeller been playing in goal. Given the number of Bayern and Dortmund players in the national side, I’m sure they will all know each other very well, a fact which may have had some part to play had Weidenfeller been in goal.
I was worried that if I wrote about it I would curse Dortmund, equally I thought that because I had a Hansi related dream the weekend before the match that meant that Bayern were destined to lose. The reason being that every time I dream about a team (so far there’s only been one exception to this rule and luckily for me it was Freiburg) the next time they play they lose. Now I know it’s just stupid superstition and that what I dream has no effect on the game, regardless I still like noting such patterns.
In terms of dreams it was an interesting weekend, I had a dream not only about Hansi but about Roman Bürki too. The Roman one would have been great given that it ended with me hugging him, unfortunately everything that came before that was nightmarish so I’m not going to write about that. The Hansi dream on the other hand was most interesting. He was being strange, for him that is, in terms of how I’ve written him and Jogi. That is I wrote Jogi as the strange one, the compulsive collector and here Hansi was being that way.
There’s three people there, me, Hansi and a third unknown person (it’s not Jogi, I would have remembered if he were there). Hansi is putting stickers and/or tickets in a book of some sort. So focused is he on the task at hand that he doesn’t answer when I ask him if he wants another ticket for his collection. The ticket in question is a Europa League ticket for Wolfsburg v Anderlecht. That’s interesting because Anderlecht were in Dortmund’s group in the Champions League, they didn’t make it through the group stage and instead went in to the Europa League where they were knocked out by Napoli. I remember Dortmund played Napoli a few years ago in the Champions League and Weidenfeller got sent off for intentionally handling the ball outside the box. As well as Napoli knocking out Anderlecht in the round of 32 in the Europa League, they also knocked out Wolfsburg in the quarter finals. It’s also interesting because Wolfsburg are playing in the other semi-final tonight against Arminia Bielefeld. If dreaming about them means they lose, I have no objections to that.
Anyhow back to the dream, when he doesn’t respond I hold the ticket right in front of his face and he takes it without saying anything. Next thing I know the other person there is making fun of him, specifically they are making fun of his last name. That’s interesting because last week on The Football’s On they were talking about Jürgen Klopp and the fact that they had just discovered his middle name was Norbert. They were discussing how odd that was and said that it didn’t really fit with his name, nor was it very Germanic. They then went on to say that it wouldn’t matter if his last name was Flick or something that was similarly obviously German. As weird as this is, they are right about one thing, Jürgen Norbert Flick does have kind of a ring to it. Thinking about such things is proof that I’ve spent way too much time thinking about German names these past few days, writing it even more so. The reason I’ve been thinking of such things is I’m trying to come up with a name for a character, not a new character, an already existing one. I had a name for them, strangely enough that name was Jürgen but now I’ve decided that it doesn’t really fit them anymore. I have to add that character was named for Klinsmann rather than Klopp.
Hansi didn’t seem to care what this person was saying about him, or rather he didn’t seem to hear any of it. I don’t know exactly what they were saying about him, all I know is they repeated his last name several times. I of course defended him but he showed no interest in doing so himself. Seeing as how I’m writing about Hansi, I may as well post the picture I’ve been meaning to find space for these past few weeks:
I’m not sure what if anything it’s supposed to mean. I’m just happy that I dreamed about the right German for a change. I wonder if it’s significant that he doesn’t care that people are making fun of him. I had a dream a few weeks ago about such a thing. In that dream was Eintracht Frankfurt striker Alex Meier. Just in case talking to him wasn’t weird enough, the conversation took an even weirder turn when he admitted that he sometimes mixed up Jogi and Hansi. I have even less of an idea what I’m supposed to make of that, I’ve never heard of anyone mixing them two up nor do I see how anyone could do so. Even my friend in real life who hates football couldn’t do that. In fact not only did they learn who was who pretty quick but they also remembered enough to know that Hansi was his assistant. Also I wonder if the fact that he plays for Frankfurt is important since Jogi Löw spent a season with them as a player.
One final thing I want to mention, back in February I had a Champions League related dream in which Klopp and Robert Lewandowski featured. Relevant here for two reasons, firstly because it was Robert Lewandowski who put Bayern in front last night and secondly because I wondered if the dominance of Puma over Adidas in that dream meant it was predicting a Dortmund victory. Admittedly that dream was about the Champions League and about how I wanted an all German final in Berlin, but it’s partly right at least, Dortmund will get to play one final in Berlin this season.
Random bit of Pokal trivia, the last time a third division side reached the final was in 2001. The team that did so was Union Berlin and they lost to Schalke, relevant here because of course Schalke is who Manuel Neuer played for before Bayern.
To get back to last night’s game, I couldn’t help but add a few pictures and make GIFs of the first two penalties. I love how Neuer looks when he’s made a mistake or something goes wrong, like he can’t believe what’s happened, like mistakes are something that happen to other people. I want to be clear, I’m happy that Dortmund are through to the final but I’m not taking any pleasure in Neuer’s misfortune at all, really I’m not. As proven by the fact that I haven’t made a GIF of his penalty. I do get what people say though, that he’s one of those people who just seems to be good at everything and that it can get a bit annoying sometimes. Especially when he has that arrogant kind of look about him. This isn’t one of those times, now I just feel really bad for him. About the GIFs, it may be just me but watching the two of them together is really funny, I think because they are almost but not quite in sync. Plus the fact that they fall in such a similar manner.