Remember an old TV series SOCCER MADE IN GERMANY with it's entertaining British host TOBY CHARLES? It ran on Public TV in the US in the mid 70's through the early 80's. In it's time it was almost the only source of European Football in the US, although with a German bent. Watching the weekly match highlights left me hungry to learn more about the history of German football beyond the last World or European Cup. Here comes TOR:THE STORY OF GERMAN FOOTBALL. It's terrific.
ULI-HESSE LICHTENBERGER is a working Football Journalist. You can read his regular column on-line at ESPN's SOCCERNET.COM. In TOR (which means Goal in German) he covers the game from the beginning in the middle of the 19th Century. Germany wins the World Cup in 1954, but a national domestic league isn't started until 1963. However almost no other country can match their legacy. 3 World Cup championships and 3 runner's up; 4 European Championships; and numerous club championships.
But TOR is more than competitions and scores. German football is full of Heroes and Villians and they are all part of TOR. You will read about Joseph Sepp Herberger, national team manager from 1935 - 1962; famous players from Fritz Walter through Uwe Seeler, Gerd Mueller, Rudi Voeller, Lothar Mattheus, and Michael Ballack. They are all here. And then there is Germany's greatest footballer, Franz Beckenbauer. HESSE-LICHTENBERGER reveals the great German Kaiser including some character flaws that will demystify his legacy.
Another reason to recommend this book is that it also covers East German football. This makes it a comprehensive look at German football.
Right now the US is experiencing a revival on the international level. This is due to the leadership of our new national team manager Jurgen Klinsman. Klinsman played in 3 World Cups (and won one in 1990). He also won domestic championships in Italy and England, making him a major figure over that last 25 years of German Football. And he is in this book!
I liked this book, a lot. If you follow German or International Football, you will too.