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World Cup fever

An East German's ambivalence over German success; Ghana's struggle to blend stars with locals; the rise of the US; and a prayer for English failure

By Alexander Osang   June 2006

No tears for Fritz by Alexander Osang

I grew up in East Berlin. After reunification, I no longer had a team. Now, once again, I do

Shortly before Germany played in the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, Fritz Walter, former captain of the national team, died at home in Kaiserslautern. I heard the news in the Korean baseball hall of fame, on the island of Chefu, where the German team was holding its daily press conference. The director of the football federation took to the stage and said: “Germany’s Ehrensportführer Fritz Walter is dead.” He asked us to stand…

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