quarta-feira, novembro 19, 2008

Fritz Walter

«Walter, a midfielder with I.FC Kaiserslautern, was a man of some footballing sophistication but personal simplicity and an obvious cypher for the characteristics of the German workforce that were hauling the country out of its economic abyss: focused, modest, loyal, unyielding and undying in his dedication to the collective cause. His enigmatic reticence made his life magnetic to myth and legend. At the end of the war Walter was attached to the football team of an air-force unit on the Eastern Front. He was captured by the Americans but handed over to the Soviets who put him on a train for Siberia. At the final stop at the Ukraine he joined a kickabout with the guards. He was recognized by the camp officers and miraculously sent back to Germany. During the war he was said to have contracted malaria, a condition he never entirely shook off, and was ever after strangely energized by dank wet weather – known colloquially as Fritz Walter weather. This was a man who miraculously survived the Armageddon of defeat and occupation, who carried the feverish sickness of the whole experience in his veins, who came back to the same club and the same life he had left in 1939 and just tried to get on with it.» David Goldblatt, The Ball Is Round, 2006

Fritz Walter, o primeiro alemão a erguer a Taça Jules Rimet, que é como quem diz o primeiro alemão campeão do mundo. Nos idos de 1954 sob a batuta de Sepp Herberger dirigindo o Das Wunder von Bern.

Rectificação — Na verdade, Fritz Walter foi o primeiro alemão a "segurar" a Taça Jules Rimet, e não a "erguer". Pois, como é sabido, o primeiro homem a fazê-lo, mesmo que por sugestão alheia, foi Hideraldo Bellini, 4 anos depois, na Suécia, quando o Brasil conquistou a sua, também, primeira Taça Jules Rimet.

Sem comentários: