21 July 2008

One Team in Munich

There are of course two teams in Munich, but we are not going to mention the other one, currently managed by a certain Jurgen Klinsmann who also played for the club and whose diving and writhing antics make Cristiano Ronaldo look like Gary Lineker.

I have still not forgotten his disgusting cheating during the European Cup semi-final between Monaco and Milan in 1994. Here's the Guardian's description
In the spring before he joined Tottenham, playing for Arsène Wenger's Monaco in their European Cup semi-final defeat against Milan, Klinsmann writhed on the ground after a high tackle from Alessandro Costacurta. Slow-motion replays revealed that Costacurta had caught nothing more solid than the air around Klinsmann's shins. His reputation as the consummate diver was assured. Cunning, cynical, histrionic, the German was the embodiment of all we claimed to despise in British football.
The Guardian goes on to explain how the British media came to love Klinsmann. Not me. Monaco lost that game and the end result of Klinsmann's cheating is that Costacurta, a genuinely great player, lost his chance to appear in the European Cup final - a game that Milan won 4-0 against Barcelona.

So my one team in Munich is TSV1860 Munich. They are to the other Munich team what Everton are to Liverpool or Manchester City to Manchester United. Honest toilers, whose occasional moments of glory only serve to reinforce the extent to which they live in the shadow of their more prestigious neighbours.

TSV have been playing in the German second division for the last few years which means that there are also affordable seats available for their games in the the Allianz Arena.

While browsing through the club website this morning I came across some interesting souvenirs. The first of these is one of the club flags, which I had seen on display in the city before I knew what it was. This is a version of the Union flag, but in TSV colours with the club's lion emblem in the centre.

Since the website has no English section I wasn't able to discover the origins of this flag, especially whether it is deliberately modelled on the UK flag and, if so, why. If anyone out there knows or can find out I would love to know.

My favourite item is the TSV1860 toaster, though I have no idea why anyone would want a toaster proclaiming allegiance to the club. I also don't understand why they only offer a toaster. What about a kettle? Or an espresso maker?

I did check the online shop for the other team, but unfortunately they also have a toaster available. So no advantage to us there. I was also dismayed to discover that the other team have a range of pet products in their colours. This is clearly an area that the TSV1860 marketing people need to get to work on immediately.

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