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Friday, June 16, 2006

The English in Germany

AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
England's Wayne Rooney, front, takes a shot
despite the challenge of Trinidad and Tobago's
Brent Sancho during their World Cup Group
B soccer match in Nuremberg, Germany,

This is from the BBC's World Cup blog

England with the Klinsmanns

A CARPARK, SORRY CAMPSITE, STUTTGART - Ricco and I went to find the Klinsmann family bakery in the Stuttgart suburb of Botnang this afternoon.

Alas, Thursday just happened to be the Corpus Christi holiday in this part of Germany and the place was closed - but that was definitely not the end of the story.

We lingered outside the shop and wondered what to do next as England's match against Trinidad & Tobago was due to start in 15 minutes.

Just down from the bakery was a pizzeria so we decided to cut our losses and grab something to eat in a place that would guarantee full view of a TV.

The place was empty when we entered but slowly filled up.

To the left was a doctor who once spent six weeks in London and went on a day trip to Hastings. Wicked.

It was a homely place populated by locals and all the people at the different tables knew each other (the doctor, obviously, knew eveyone). In the table underneath the TV sat a husband, wife and two sons.

As it turned out they were Horst and Barbara Klinsmann and their two sons - Juergen's older brother and sister-in-law and two nephews.

They watched as England laboured to their 2-0 win over T&T and looked pretty excited on the few occasions Dwight Yorke's team threatened Paul Robinson's goal.

Barbara arrived before the rest with some Klinsmann biscuits from the bakery. I ate one and felt pretty bad when I bit Juergen's head off.

The rest of the family turned up for the match and highlights included:

Horst, wearing red casual sleeveless vest, scoffing when I suggested to the doctor that if he was struggling to pronounce Rooney he could just say Pele.

Horst suggesting video replays should definitely be introduced.

Barbara claiming that Germany winger David Odonkor - Juergen's shock late call up - is a waste of time.

A female teenager - possibly Juergen's niece - appearing briefly and dismissing Barbara's suggestion that there may be homework to do. "I am only young once!"

Juergen's nephew being slightly belligerent towards Ricco, who merely suggested England might now meet Germany at the semi-final or final stage. "Beat you on penalties" was the basic message.

Alas, as the match finished and the bills were settled Horst refused Ricco's request for a photo, pointing out that today was his Sunday.

The Klinsmanns disappeared off into the night and we debated whether Ricco should chase after them to get some shots.

A basic sense of decency prevailed and we left them alone (choosing instead to make public all Ricco had overheard them saying).

Watch the video , although you will have to take our word that Horst and Barbara were there.

posted by Steve @ 2:09:00 AM

2:09:00 AM

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