Is it any wonder that the Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary and probably a few other high-powered German public figures will be making their way to Wembley on Sunday? no Because that’s where the women’s national soccer team is going up against England, in the final of the European Championship, and that in a place that can justify a myth.
Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock would not be politicians if they missed this opportunity to show themselves with these players. In fact, something big has happened. To paraphrase an old football saying: You have to be eleven friends – there are 23 friends on a team who show a nation and the world what can be won in their own way.
Gone are the days of dirty jokes, no more arrogant comments, just enthusiasm, admiration for a woman who offers everything you could wish for: heart, courage, passion, strength, tactics, discipline, technical skill, a plan that goes beyond a match goes out. And joy in everything, in the game, in the team spirit that is contagious. How women can celebrate!
It’s professionals who play there, but they don’t give the impression that it’s about anything other than, let’s say, honor. They bring honors, are the best ambassadors for a country that is gifted at doubting itself and everything in general. They show how it is possible to make quick decisions appropriate to the situation and carry the decision to the goal. Not to ask long questions, but to act after assessing the situation. And how.
Anyone who listens to the players and the national coach as they explain themselves also knows what successful communication requires: authenticity, empathy and appreciation – and to be sorted in your head, organized, team-oriented. This is being communicated, and now to an entire nation.
A jubilee aria? Yes, because the feeling this team spreads is a gift in joyless times. There isn’t that much that people could use to edify themselves. All around us: crisis. So it’s good, this summer fairy tale of its own kind, a bit like 2006, back then at the men’s World Cup in your own country. The soul and head longed for it so much, and now the longing is being fulfilled in a wondrous, sometimes intoxicating way.
The truth is out there, but really. The bearers of hope deliver, they convince. From setting to pace to routes, everything; and if it doesn’t fit, they won’t put it on, but will do everything to make it fit. This is Spirit. Most of the 90,000 English viewers will also appreciate this. Hopefully.
And hopefully also the viewers who come from Germany, the prominent politicians. If they are honest, they can still learn something from the national team, especially now. Didn’t the Scholz team start working together like never before? Didn’t the Federal Chancellor just declare: You’ll never walk alone?
The football anthem is program – and it should be urgently. The Federal Cabinet is a long way from what characterizes Team Germany.
It is absolutely essential to renounce vanities. One for the other, everyone digs in, knows what they (and he) have to do, that’s the right basic idea. In addition, the plan how everything can work out – the esteemed audience is not that stupid, they will notice and appreciate that. Yes, yes, there are definitely analogies to politics here.
And if the national team should lose the final? Either way, in victory or defeat, it doesn’t matter, the women have already won: the hearts of the spectators, of the people at home. This is what winners look like.