'Football is to Germany what cricket is to India'

Updated on Mar 29, 2006 11:21 AM IST

Germany's Consul-General Von Stackelberg equated his country's passion for football with the Indians' craze for cricket.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, Mumbai

Admitting that Germans were generally not associated with passionate support for sport, the country's Consul-General Von Stackelberg on Tuesday equated his country's passion for football with the Indians' craze for cricket.

"We are generally considered not a very passionate lot. But when it comes to football we become highly emotional. Football for Germans is what cricket is for Indians, a very passionate affair," he said at a function here to announce the festival of short and feature films on soccer ahead of the FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Germany from June 9.

"Michael Ballack (midfielder) and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn for the Germans are like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid for Indians," the diplomat said.

A total of seven films with football being the over-riding theme are to be shown from April 3 starting with "The Miracle of Bern", a full-length feature directed by Sonke Wortman, showcasing West Germany's title-triumph in 1954, barely nine years after being beaten in World War II.

"I remember that tournament. I was a very young boy and Germany was down politically and economically after the defeat in the world war.

"The victory over the great Hungarian team (Magical Magyars) which had the great Ferenc Puskas in its ranks 3-2 in the final, after being thrashed 8-3 by them earlier in the tournament, was akin to a country like Iran being able to beat the current Brazilian side," he added.

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