Advent Calendar Day 12: The Man from Cottbus, Speedy Karim & Papa Sokratis

Behind door number twelve in the Freiburg calendar was striker Tim Kleindienst who joined Freiburg in the summer from Energie Cottbus which is also the former club of his fellow striker Nils Petersen. Random Jogi tangent, Cottbus is team who VfB Stuttgart played in the DFB Pokal final of 1996/97, Stuttgart beat them 2-0, Jogi winning his first trophy as a coach. In the DFB one was the card of quick footed winger Karim Bellarabi. He’s speedy in more ways than one, not only is he quick footed but he holds the record of having scored the fastest ever Bundesliga goal. Said goal was scored just nine seconds after kick off against Borussia Dortmund in the 2014-15 season.

It’s very fitting that I get Bellarabi’s card today, he and Leverkusen brought to an end the reign of Andre Schubert’s lucky green sweater, beating his Gladbach side quite spectacularly so in a 5-0 rout. Since he took over Lucien Favre he’s worn that green hoodie for every domestic game and they haven’t lost any of them not until now. It was a much needed victory for Leverkusen after getting knocked out of the Champions League in midweek, in addition they’ve been struggling for form in the league so it will have been a considerable boost to their confidence.

And last but not least in the Dortmund calendar was Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, helpfully nicknamed Papa and the subject of one of my most favourite GIFs:

Thomas_Tuchel_celebrates_Dortmund_v_MainzKarim Bellarabi - DFB card 2015-16 1 Karim Bellarabi - DFB card 2015-16 2 Sokratis - Dortmund advent calendarToday went much the same as yesterday did, a late night because of getting carried away with a new adventure, this time for Jogi and Hansi. Difference is this time I didn’t get up in time for the game, I missed the first five minutes. Good thing it was only KSC’s game and not Freiburg’s, I can’t make the same mistake tomorrow.

Today Bayern played Ingolstadt, I only saw some of the game, it wasn’t a lot of fun to watch but I don’t think that matters. I couldn’t think of anything but the impending draw for the Euro 2016 groups. I’m happy that not only did I get a video of a Jogi interview from the news but I got all of my wishes in regard to who didn’t want to be in Germany’s group. Jogi himself said that he didn’t have any preferences, neither do I, but there were  a few teams I did want to avoid. Not because they are tough teams to beat but for my own reasons. Most important of all I wanted Albania not to be in Germany’s group so I don’t have to root against them. It’s a very strange quirk of fate in that Albania have been drawn in the same group as Switzerland. Strange because Freiburg midfielder Amir Abrashi is of Albanian descent but he grew up in Switzerland and he considers himself Swiss. Yet he plays his international football for Albania, not out of a sense of connection with his homeland but because of practical issues. The Swiss team has several talented midfielders, it would take a while for him to break his way into the team, so he opted to play for Albania instead. I’m very happy that they qualified and even more happy that they aren’t in Germany’s group. Assuming Abrashi makes the squad for the tournament and that Mehmedi does for Switzerland then the current Freiburger will be facing off against the former Freiburger.

Germany’s group is ok, Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland are the teams in their group. They’ll obviously be the favourites to win the group but they can’t take anything for granted. It’s nice in a sense that Poland are in Germany’s group because they were in Germany’s group for the very first tournament that Jogi was involved in, back in 2006 when he was Klinsmann’s assistant. Given that next year will be his tenth year in charge it’s very fitting somehow.

To get back to the topic of Bayern’s game, it may not have been much fun but Philipp Lahm’s goal certainly was. The last time he scored for Bayern was last season when they beat Bremen 6-0. It was his celebration with Thomas Müller that I particularly liked:

Philipp_Lahm_celebrates_Bayern_v_IngolstadtPhilipp Lahm - Bayern v Ingolstadt 1 Philipp Lahm - Bayern v Ingolstadt 2 Philipp Lahm - Bayern v Ingolstadt 3 Philipp Lahm - Bayern v Ingolstadt 4

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