A New Dawn in European Football

It’s back. The return of football in Europe is in sight (excluding Belarus, where it’s been business as usual.) South Korea became the first league to return to action following the coronavirus. Obviously there have been some major changes to ensure the safety of everyone involved; no crowd, no handshakes, substitutes wearing masks and maintaining a social distance on the bench. These are all factors which will be taken into consideration wherever football is played in the near future, and is likely to be commonplace for some time to come.

Unless you’ve been following the Nicaraguan league, the Bundesliga will be the first opportunity to watch live football for the best part of two months. Although a variety of programmes have been showing classic matches from yesteryear nothing compares to the real thing. Even though, under normal circumstances the league breaks over summer, the hiatus has been longer than normal with no international tournaments between seasons.

There are a number of fans who follow all football throughout the year, but for most casual fans the Premier League would be the only tournament they maintain an interest in. However, with the top division in England not returning until next month (at the very earliest) attention turns across the channel to Germany.

Under strong leadership Germany has taken control of the pandemic, and the Bundesliga has now marked its calendar to complete the remaining fixtures of the season. As a follower of the Premier League the rivalries are familiar, names are well known and the narrative is set. With an unfamiliar league, it’s time to get up to speed with what’s going on, who are the teams and who are the players.

Having done some research on the clubs, do you remain neutral? Or do you choose a team support? It’s definitely more entertaining watching a match with a vested interest. One of the common comments I get from people not interested in football is they wouldn’t watch a match if they didn’t want a team to win. To them there doesn’t seem to be a point. Back to choosing a team, what makes your decision? The colour of the kit, the location, the style of play, whoever is best (I don’t feel I could do that. Something about the British underdog mentality, perhaps. The having grown up in the 90’s with the majority of the school supporting Manchester United. Where are they now)?

I hope from a health and safety perspective it is a success. Even if you’re not interested in football (why are you still reading) it is a silver lining in a sky full of clouds, and a semblance of a return to normality. No other European league is returning for the next few weeks; France, Belgium and The Netherlands have already scrapped a return. This means German football will have more viewers than ever on , and it might be their opportunity to take advantage. The Bundesliga is one of the top five leagues in the world with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund regularly competing in the latter stages of the major European competitions. It is highly likely once the casual fan starts watching the Bundesliga for the rest of the season they will be hooked (I would have said caught the bug, but doesn’t seem right currently) and continue to watch even after the other leagues return later in the year.

Globe Blogs of Football – Bundesliga Fanatic

In a new feature on the site we have interviewed various websites who cover football in specific areas of the world. Hopefully this will give an insight into the work of people who share their knowledge of the game.

First up is Bundesliga Fanatic who can also be found on Twitter.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself/the team/contributors?

The answer can be found here: http://bundesligafanatic.com/about-2/teamz/

2. How did you first get interested in football from the region you cover?

Well, for me personally my obsession with German football started at an early age, as I was born in Germany. Some of the others have travelled to Germany and fallen in love with the league whilst watching football in the stadium, but mostly our contributors came to the Bundesliga after they had heard about the great football culture through other sources and after they had started watching the league.

3. What inspired you to start your site?

Our founder Gerry Wittmann started the site because there was a limited amount of information about the Bundesliga for English speakers. It has since been our goal to enlighten our readers about the day to day business of German football as well as its history and culture.

4. What is the purpose of your site?

It’s to give readers a better understanding of German football. Our main focus is the Bundesliga and the national team, but we also take the time to dive into the history books as well as covering what is going on in Bundesliga 2 and in the lower divisions.

5. Summarise your site in your own words.

You can read more about our mission here: http://bundesligafanatic.com/about-2/mission-2/

6. How long has the site been running?

It’s been online since September 2010.

7. How has the site grown since you started?

The growth of the site has been tremendous over the years; we had about 1500 followers on Twitter after a year, now we do have 11,000.

8. What has been the most popular article/feature on the site?

Depends from day-to-day to be honest. Everything about Bayern, Dortmund and the national team is bound to generate a decent amount of page views, but other features can do well if they are well written and cover something interesting.

9. How do you keep up to date with the region you cover?

Well, there are the usual news sources like Bild, kicker etc., but we also do travel to the region and we do have a number of contacts providing us with information.

10. What advice would you give to other football writers/bloggers?

Find your niche! Being aware of your strength and weaknesses as writer is also very important.