After his team defeated Ajax 3-1 to qualify for the Europa League last 16 on Thursday, it was a smile. Union Berlin manager Urs Fischer said “the craziness goes on”.
The next stop on Union’s ‘crazy’ journey? German powerhouse Bayern Munich on Sunday.
The Union is sitting alongside Bayern and other powerhouses of Borussia Dortmund on the Bundesliga, only the goal difference separates them – a result of the pre-season may be better than the dreams of the Unioner most dangerous.
Shortly after Thursday’s thrashing of Ajax, with Union players dancing in front of several pitches, fans broke into a chant, promising to “pull the Lederhosen off the Bavarians”.
Not like Bayernwho have won the Bundesliga more than all other German clubs combined, Union’s trophy cabinet is quite empty, which means that fans have a different understanding of the true meaning of ‘success’.
American forward Jordan Siebatcheu has been in form since arriving in the summer, scoring three goals and making two assists in his first six games.
He told AFP “clear communication with a nice group of guys helped me adapt to the system quickly and improve myself.”
“The fans are amazing, they don’t care about the result.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the German Cup, Bundesliga or friendlies, it’s there.
“So, we have to keep going for the fans.”
Siebatcheu believes the opportunity will not reach the visitors on Sunday. “We don’t care if we play against Schalke or Munich.”
The love of the Englishman John Richter for the club is so strong that after flying to Berlin for several games a year, he decided to move to Germany in the summer “because of Union.”
Richter, 58, told AFP he made the decision while standing on the grass of Union’s Alte Foersterei stadium after the club secured promotion to the top division in 2019.
“The game against Stuttgart, while we were celebrating on the pitch, that night was one of the best nights of my life.
“I thought I should go to more games and I should be in Berlin more often.”
For former Liverpool player Richter, who obtained a German passport through his father, supporting the Union provides a link to a commercial sport and a clean culture.
“Standing on a terrace” in Union, Richter said “I regained my youth.”
Oliver Jauer, who contributed to the Union blog and podcast Textilvergehen, came with his father at the age of two and has been with the club ever since.
“I’m thankful I didn’t rebel against my father,” Jauer, now 41, told AFP.
When it comes to titles, Jauer echoes the loyalty of Fischer’s manager, admitting “I think I’m one of the few people I know who trying hard to let him dream.”
“I’m trying to see how it feels to actually make a Leicester (who suddenly won the English title in 2016), but every part of me is screaming that there is still a chance. one percent.”
For the lifetime of Union signal Jan Grobi, 54, who has been in “most all sports” since 1983, a prize winner may have points’ ugh.
“Before the season I said the words ‘if we win the German championship, I will walk naked in the Alte Foersterei.’
“A few people have been trying to stop me from that, saying ‘Hey Grobi, you promised!’
“Since then, we agreed that it would be more like Borat’s swimsuit, to cover up the ugly things,” he added of the ‘mankini’ made famous by the actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s film about a TV fiction writer from Kazakhstan. .
Union Bayern is undefeated, with four losses and three draws, all with 1-1 scores, including the start of this season in Berlin.
Whether the club win, lose or draw on Sunday and whether they can sustain a push for the Champions League or a rare title, Jauer is showing that success means something completely different. enough for the Union team.
“There’s still a lot to be thankful for for the crazy ride – we’re safe in the Bundesliga for the fourth year.
“I think if we miss Europe on the last day, nobody will be very disappointed.”
“Anything else that comes along is a bonus.”
“But if we really have to play in the Champions League,” Grobi thought, “I’ve heard the anthem probably 1,000 times, but to hear it in the Alte Foersterei, that’s good.”
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