United through Football: Team Germany

United through Football: Team Germany

In celebration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we asked some of our community ambassadors to talk to us about their national teams. Despite Germany having been knocked out of this year’s tournament, Professor Michael Rosemann, the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Brisbane, answered a few of our questions about football in Germany. Not only is he the Executive Director of Corporate Engagement at the Queensland University of Technology, he also plays soccer in his local football team! Read more from Prof Rosemann below.

What is your full name and your role in the community?
Prof Michael Rosemann, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany (Brisbane)

What do you love most about your role?
As a Consul you have the chance to engage with all parts of our society. It is an eye-opening, rewarding experience and it makes me very much aware of the countless facets of life that make up our story. It is an incredible honour to represent my country externally and it is satisfying to support our German community and its members internally.

What does the FIFA World Cup mean to Germany?
Soccer is by far the most popular and most important sport in Germany. As a consequence, it has a tremendous influence far beyond the competitive outcomes. This became most obvious at the World Cups in 1954 and 2006 which were important events for uplifting the spirit in the German society

How did you feel when Germany qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
For a country that took part in 19 out of 21 tournaments, qualifying for the World Cup is (nearly) a given. However, in light of the experiences of other big soccer nations (Italy, The Netherlands), we of course were very pleased when we qualified.

How passionate are football fans from Germany?
They always have been, and always will be very passionate. There is a strong passion for your local team and there is collective passion for the national team. Family, friends and public crowds gather to follow the soccer world cup. This goes as far as the fact that a 4pm kick-off for a match of Die Mannschaft was associated with a negative impact on the German economy due to the extent of distraction….

Who is your favourite German player and why?
In the current national team, I am an absolute fan of Marco Reus. His individual brilliance, technical skills and his obvious love for the game make him an impact player who is a pleasure to watch. Soccer is most of all a team sport, but it is often the creativity of players such as Reus that make the difference in very competitive situations.

Where does the expat community gather for huge games like this?
La Dolce Vita in Milton and Pig N Whistle in the Brisbane CBD is certainly a place where Germans came together for some early morning matches.

If there was only one destination in Germany to visit, what would it be and why?
This has to be Berlin. Not only because it is the capital, but because it showcases the variety, history and current momentum of Germany like no other place. This is where East meets West, where culture meets tech start-up, where history converts into future. You could go there every year and every time witness a fast evolving, true European city.

Vegemite is the food Australians love. What is Germany’s “Vegemite”?
If the comparison is what you find on the breakfast table of many German families, I assume the answer has to be Nutella. It also represents the hidden love of many Germans for the sweeter things in life.

What is your favourite festival from Germany and why?
I very much love the atmosphere of Christmas so I have to say I enjoy, and highly recommend German Christmas markets.

What do you love most about Australia?
Australia is an incredibly beautiful, contemporary and multi-cultural environment. The quality of life is very high and its positive energy and constructive attitude brings out the best in many people.

Who’s your tip to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
Unfortunately, I can no longer give you Germany as my answer so at this stage, I would assume that France will make it.

Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: editor@culturalpulse.com.au