Gerd Mueller proud of German team’s ethnic diversityJuly 2nd, 2010 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS
By Abhishek Roy
Johannesburg, July 2 (IANS) Legendary footballer Gerd Mueller feels that the ethnic diversity in the German team has played a role in transforming it into a winning outfit and it should be preserved.
Mueller, who holds the German record of 68 goals from 62 internationals, said the talented youngsters in the squad belonging to different backgrounds have gelled well here as a unit during the ongoing Football World Cup.
“We all should be proud of this team. In fact, we should try to preserve this young squad for the future. The guys are extremely talented,” said Mueller, who won the Golden Boot award in the 1970 World Cup.
The German team’s eclectic mix of nationalities has also impressed Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“Sport is a fantastic instrument of social integration,” Rogge said.
Germany’s team is one of the youngest squads in the World Cup and eleven of its 23 players have foreign backgrounds. These players have their origins in nine different countries.
Football is a popular sport among Germany’s working class and a route to earn great riches. Right from their childhood, youngsters from ethnically-diverse, humble backgrounds try to work their way up the ladder in the sport.
Two members of this team, Serdar Tasci and Mesut Oezil, were born to Turkish parents. Coach Joachim Loew describes Oezil as “a gift to German football”.
Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose and Piotr Trochowski were born in Poland, but moved to Germany at an early age.
Youngster Marko Marin was born in war-ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina, but his parents moved to Frankfurt when he was two and when the time came to represent the national team, he went for the German passport.
Mario Gomez was born in the German town Baden-Wuerttemberg to a Spanish father.
Germany’s in form striker Cacau, nicknamed Helmut, was born in Brazil’s Sao Paulo province, and started playing in German lower-league football ten years ago. He extended his contract with Bundesliga champion club Stuttgart in 2007 until 2013. It was only last year that Cacau became a German citizen.
Dennis Aogo’s father is Nigerian while Jerome Boateng, was born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father. Boateng’s half-brother Kevin Prince Boateng was born in Berlin and represented the German Under-21 team but preferred to play for Ghana in the World Cup.
Sami Khedira, a replacement after captain Michael Ballack was ruled out with an injury, has a Tunisian father. Ballack was born in East Germany.
(Abhishek Roy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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- Injured Germany captain Ballack to miss World Cup - May 17, 2010
- Loew to reveal thinking in final test for Germany - Jun 02, 2010
- We are not the favourites: German soccer coach - Jun 02, 2012
- Germany look to avoid unspeakable disaster against Ghana - Jun 22, 2010
- Mueller wins 2010 World Cup Golden Boot - Jul 12, 2010
- Mueller wins World Cup Golden Boot, best young player (Lead) - Jul 12, 2010
- Loew is proud of his team but leaves his future open - Jul 11, 2010
- Loew stays on as Germany's coach until Euro 2012 - Jul 20, 2010
- Germany have history on their side - Jun 17, 2010
- Germany masterful in 4-0 drubbing of Australia (Lead) - Jun 14, 2010
- German young guns lead world football's gen-next - Jul 05, 2010
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