Matussek, Folge 85:
Linker und rechter Fußball

London, 23. Juni 2008, 19:37 | von Paco

Und weiter. Nach den Folgen 56, 63 und 69 heute Folge 85. Wie immer passiert alles in der sentimentalischen Genauigkeit der Einträge auf der Serien-Website Have fun!

Matusseks Kulturtipp (2006 and on)

Ep. Title: »Matusseks EM-Studio: Linker und rechter Fußball«
Episode Number: 85
First Aired: June 17, 2008 (Tuesday)


To mark the occasion of the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship hosted by Austria and Switzerland, Matussek mixes football with politics in this episode. Accompanied by his buddy Goethe, he collects statements of more or less renowned friends, journalists, and politicians to make his point. In the end, he skeptically removes his patriotic cheek painting as the 2006 World Cup spirit seems to be gone somehow. This episode also holds two surprises: one regarding the infamous Córdoba match from 1978, the other involving an alleged quote from Goethe’s and Schiller’s couplet collection »Xenien.«


Star: Matthias Matussek (himself)

Recurring Role: Goethe (himself)

Guest Star: Angela Merkel (herself, only seen in photos), Joachim Lottmann (himself), Thomas Schmid (himself), Gregor Gysi (himself), Oskar Lafontaine (himself), Christoph Metzelder (himself), Oliver Bierhoff (himself), Alexander Kluge (himself)

Memorable Quotes

Matussek (meeting up with Thomas Schmid): »Ich stellte ihn in der Raucherecke des Springer-Hochhauses, (es) erinnerte ein bisschen an Guantánamo.«

Thomas Schmid: »Da gibt es ja seit Netzers Zeiten und seit dem berühmten Che Guevara im Porsche oder Jaguar, ich weiß nicht mehr, drin, viele, viele Spekulationen, der eher kollektive, eher kollegiale, der eher leistungsorientierte Fußball, ich glaube, das ist Quatsch, das ist alles eine Suppe.«

Gregor Gysi (when asked about the condition of the German national football team): »Ich hab immer gesagt, nicht wieder, dass wir in den letzten Tagen einknicken, sondern durchziehen.«

Oskar Lafontaine (about Michael Ballack as possible lifelong captain of the national team): »Ja, ich fürchte, dass da etwas übersehen wird, nämlich die Kondition des Mannschaftsführers. Er ist sicherlich jetzt ein sehr guter Spieler. Ob er das in 50 Jahren noch ist, da hab ich meine Zweifel.«

Matussek (to German coach Joachim Löw, over the phone): »Sage mal, was ihr für Scheiße hier zusammenspielt. Das könnter doch net mache.«

Christoph Metzelder: »Ich glaube, dass es normal ist, dass man nach so einem Spiel sich auch hinterfragt als Mannschaft, als Verantwortlicher, als Trainerstab.«

Matussek (reinterpreting Córdoba 1978): »Wir hatten einfach keine Lust, in dem argentinischen Junta-Staat, dem Folterstaat, mit Fußball zu glänzen. Die Österreicher konnten das leichter abschütteln, hatten damit keine Probleme.«

Matussek (to Alexander Kluge): »Es ist wichtig, dass Sie, wenn Sie nicht mehr weiterwissen, ist es immer gut, wenn Sie einen Goethe dabeihaben. Ich hab bei meinen Blogs immer einen Goethe dabei.«

Matussek: »Fußball theatralisiert die Seelenlage einer Nation wie nichts Anderes.«


Running time of this episode: 7’00 mins.

This episode starts without any form of intro or opening credits.

Matussek wears no suspenders in this episode except for a few shots during the closing credits. Instead, he wears one of these Hawaiian flower necklaces in black–red–gold, the official German colors. In one scene, he can be seen wearing a football scarf, also in German colors.

»Der alte Schirrmacher« (»good old Schirrmacher«) is not mentioned in this episode. The same goes for Ding and Dong (i. e., Mephisto).

There’s footage showing German author Joachim Lottmann commenting Croatia’s defeat of Germany on June 12th. Lottmann is seen with a couple of teenage fans introduced by Matussek as a »family from the Northern outskirts of Berlin.« Matussek and Lottmann used to work together at »Spiegel« magazine.

Thomas Schmid whom Matussek happens to meet in the smoking area of the Springer-Hochhaus is editor-in-chief of »Die Welt«, a conservative daily published by Axel Springer AG. From 2000 to 2006, Schmid worked for »Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung« which is also regarded as conservative (see signandsight’s key to German newspapers). In the eighties, Schmid had mainly worked for leftist publications.

Matussek published a discerning story on Gregor Gysi, head of Germany’s Left Party, in »Spiegel« magazine, no. 23 (June 2, 2008), pp. 48-50. Thus the scenes with Gysi contained in this episode can be considered outtakes since none of his statements made it into the actual article.

Instead of flocking to a public viewing, Matussek retreats to a private session to watch the match between Croatia and Germany. There he urges two kids to snatch the ball out of the game projected to the wall of the living room to help the German team protect its penalty box. (It didn’t help, though.)

In the second half of the match between Croatia and Germany, Matussek rings up German coach Joachim Löw to ask what on earth his team is doing (see Memorable Quotes). As Löw was not seen holding a phone during the match, Matussek may have dialed the wrong number.

Since football as we know it was invented after Goethe’s death in 1832, it appears to be quite prophetic that the revered German poet already alludes to it in the first part of his tragedy Faust whose first drafts date back to the 1770s: »Da steh ich nun, ich armes Tor! / Und bin so klug als wie zuvor« (»So here I stand, a poor goal! / None the wiser than before«).

German chancelière Angela Merkel is only seen in photos where she seems to be talking to Matussek about his 2006 book, »Wir Deutschen« (»We Germans«). In the beginning of this episode, he already denoted this essayistic piece as a »licence to cheer« for the German fans during the 2006 World Championship which took place in Germany.

The scenes showing defender Christoph Metzelder and team manager Oliver Bierhoff talking to journalists during a press conference are not shot by Matussek himself but taken from another source.

This episode was followed by a remix episode released three days later (June 20th) after the German team beat Portugal in the quarter finals by 3–2 in Basel on June 19th. It goes by a slightly altered title, »Matusseks EM-Remix: Linker, rechter und guter Fußball«, and mainly revises several ideas mentioned in the original video blog. It also contains some new material, though, like the opening scene where Matussek cries, »Aus! Aus! Aus!«, paying tribute to German sports reporter Herbert Zimmermann (1917–1966) who used the exact same wording after (West) Germany beat Hungary in the World Cup final of 1954 (»Miracle of Berne«).


Matussek wears the patriotic black, red, and gold face paint but to express the curbed enthusiasm of both, the German national football team and the German fans, it was applied in the shape of a question mark.

The biggest surprise in this episode is Matussek’s reinterpretation of the infamous match between Austria and Germany in Córdoba, Argentina, during the World Championship in 1978. He insinuates that Germany lost on purpose to protest the Argentinean military junta. In contrast, Austria didn’t seem to care about the whole thing and beat (West) Germany by 3–2. This new hypothesis easily overthrows another famous reinterpretation of the match: sports commentators Grissemann & Stermann suppose that its final score actually amounted to a 5–0 in favor of Germany since all 22 players on the field where after all German (see here for details).

Matussek mentions a popular Goethe dictum, »Stolpern fördert« (»to stumble brings forward«) and provides his and Schiller’s »Xenien« as its source. Yet this small piece of wisdom, jotted down by Goethe during his second journey to Italy, never made it into a poetic work. The respective note reads, »Holl. Spr. W. Stolpern fördert.« – »Holl. Spr. W.« is an abbreviation for »Holländisches Sprichwort«, i. e., »Dutch proverb.« According to Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s »Deutsches Wörterbuch« (vol. 19, 229), »Stolpern fördert« is a proper German saying. Goethe also lists an Italian equivalent: »Un calce in culo fa un passo avanti.« However, this sentence must be corrected: the misheard ›calce‹ is to be replaced by ›calcio‹. Since ›calcio‹ is also the Italian word for ›football‹ the wheel comes full circle here. This indicates that delivering the wrong source was intended by Matussek to send us off on a little journey ad fontes.

Eine Reaktion zu “Matussek, Folge 85:
Linker und rechter Fußball”

  1. Robert Bonomo

    Goethe would have been a great midfielder, Bernd Schuster type player I think.

Einen Kommentar schreiben