Alexander Osang's article in Der Speigel highlights the new German football- attractive, full of flair and invention, with a multicultural face that captured the nation and won followers all around the world.
In that same article, he also talks about how Michael Ballack's agent Michael Becker makes explosive allegations that there is "a gay combo" that defines German football today. Osang had interviewed Becker prior to the World Cup and
When I asked him whether he thought that a player whose nomination to the team had come as something of a surprise was gay, Becker said: "He's half-gay."
Forget about that term. What Becker means by "half gay" is unimportant but it is enough of a slur to suggest that Ballack was the only man in a group of untested boys. This is important in the context of the former Chelsea midfielder's waning influence. The first one to go are the agents. Becker was ensuring that Ballack remained in his stable with his bit of neuroses.
A bit of irony there because while he was making these homophobic remarks, he was also proudly telling the writer that Elton John had performed at Ballack's wedding.
In the long term, the Spain loss might have resurrected Ballack's national career. Suddenly, the absence of the captain became front and center after being overshadowed by the new brand of "pleasing to the eye" football. This became evident in the media interviews that followed:
"Someone said that the Germans also need a player who's capable of kicking somebody once in a while."
The loss was deflating to this young German team.
" For a moment, everything that had been so romantic about the German team had evaporated. The beauty, the ease, the dance-like quality suddenly belonged to the Spaniards. It isn't easy to be a new German man, but it certainly plays well in the rest of the world."
Becker's allegations have sparked reactions across the football fraternity in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen, Ballack's new club expressing shock at these remarks. Joachim Löw also came out against it while the DFB refused to wade into the controversy. The article highlights a serious taboo that still exists in the football world.