Unnamed football team

It’s not just a sports issue. The German team is looking for a name and can’t find it. Also because of the past, it is difficult to pronounce the word nation. It was the Fussball Nationalmannschaft, and a few years ago it simply became Die Mannschaft, the Squadron, following the example of Volkswagen, which launched a new model with the simple and arrogant slogan “Das Auto”, the car. And now no one remembers that the Vw was created by the will of Hitler, in a newly founded city, Wolfsburg, with the nickname of the Führer, which for friends was “Wolf”, the wolf.

But the team with the white shirts does not warm the hearts, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung. All the other teams have names, ours is the Blue Selection, the French are Les Bleus, the blues, the Spanish eleven are the Red, the red, Brazil has the Selection. We called the German players “Panzer” and they didn’t like it. I never managed to convince my friends in Berlin that it was a compliment. For us, tanks made in Germany were the best in the world. They feared it would be a malicious reference to the Prussian war past.

Everything is political, especially sports. In 2006, when the World Cup was held in Germany, the red, black and gold tricolor was displayed on the balconies, and many worried: was it not the sign of an ambiguous national sentiment? They were sure to win, and we beat them in the semifinals, just to win the title against the Blues. Most of the Germans cheered us on, even though we still don’t believe it. Better and better to have been defeated by the world champions. To the white shirts were added the colors of the flag, but stylized in a scribble that resembled an Aztec frieze. Then they surrendered.

T-shirts are more important than you think. The USSR team played with the red shirt. The Italian shirt is blue in honor of Savoy, but no one thinks about it anymore. One day I jumped when on the cover of the Bild Zeitung I saw the photo of the players of my Palermo embracing happily after a goal, a wrapper of pink shirts. He had been chosen for an article about leaving the world of football, as a symbol of homosexuality. Pink would not be a manly color.

The T-shirt of the Südtirol is white and red, are the colors of Bolzano, and those of the Austrian flag. The team has just been promoted to Serie B, along with my rosanero, but the Italian fans in Bolzano protest, it should be called Südtirol / Alto Adige, as when the club was founded in 1990. , in the white and red team play a Ghanaian, a Frenchman, a Moroccan, an Ivorian and many footballers with Italian names. Champions with Austrian or German names are in the minority.

Die Mannschaft also began to win when panzers became faster and less predictable, let alone fewer Teutons, a multicultural team thanks to players who were children and grandchildren of immigrants. A multicultural national selection. Why be afraid of being accused of nationalism?

For Hans-Joachim Watzke, head of the supervisory board of the Dfl, the Deutsche Fussball Bund, the German federation, calling the national team simply “the team” would be respektlos, a lack of respect. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung did an opinion poll among its readers: 80% don’t like it, but no one can come up with an acceptable definition.

The Germans are naturally pessimistic, except in football. Now, after the 5 to 2 against the azzurri, but in a second category tournament, they are sure to regain the title obtained in 2014 at the next World Cup in Qatar. They are not superstitious. Maybe if they win, they’ll even find a name for the team. Why not go beyond the complex and simply call it La Nazionale, in the Italian style?

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