Author Archives: Der Irische Berliner

About Der Irische Berliner

Der Irische Berliner came to Berlin on St. Patrick’s Day 2008, to live, love, and learn all there was to be lived, loved, and learned in this wonderful city. And for Kürbiskernbrot. Expecting the school German learned 13 years previously to come flooding back as soon as he stepped on German soil, he was disappointed to find it didn’t. Na ja! He was consequently relieved to find Berliners love to have their language butchered by foreigners, a phenomenon described as niedlich. Two stolen bikes, five mobile phones, and countless Sternis later, he doesn’t see any reason to live anywhere else, especially when every day is an adventure of unpredictable possibilities, probabilities, and potentialities. When not working on amusing alliteration combinations or ignoring Betreten Verboten signs, he works as a freelance journalist whose raving reports and rantings can be found on www.irishberliner.com.

All hail San Iker and Pulpo Paul!

Germany Fan by Ines Eiban

Germany Fan by Ines Eiban

Just like four years ago, the biggest star of the World Cup has hung up his boots after it. Like Zinedine Zidane before him, Paul the psychic octopus has had enough and opted for retirement.

Both used their heads to great effect in their respective tournaments, but it was ‘Okrakel Paul’ who used his to great effect throughout, correctly predicting all eight matches he was asked to and making a mockery of his chief rival, Mani the psychic parakeet, who declared The Netherlands would win the final. Hmmm…

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May the best team win

Photo (cc) flickr user craig Quimby

It turned out that Paul the Octopus was right. Photo (cc) flickr user craig Quimby

So the Deutschland dream is over. Buried in a wave of tiki-taka. Yeah, Spain was much superior to Germany and totally deserved their win, but how boring is it to watch them play? Pass, pass, pass. Then pass, pass, pass again. And again, for 73 minutes until they broke German hearts with a goal ‘made in Barcelona.’

It got ugly here in Berlin once the final whistle blew. Schland der Tränen. Everyone annoyed and crestfallen. Frustration at not getting hold of the ball, being unable to do anything worthwhile with it when they did, and the dawning of reality; things too good to be true usually are.

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Paul the psychic octopus couldn’t solve this dilemma

An uncomfortable moral dilemma looms for me today. Germany take on Spain and suddenly I’m faced with a choice. Two years ago, for the final of Euro 2008, it wasn’t even an issue and I celebrated with gusto when La Furia Roja finally brought a trophy back to España.

— What do you think? —

Which team will win?

  • Germany (53%, 9 Votes)
  • Spain (47%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 17

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Tentacle of doom predicts Albiceleste defeat

Germany fans are hoping for another win in Saturday's game against Argentina. © ATP Yoshihiro KOIKE / dpa

Germany fans are hoping for another win in Saturday's game against Argentina. © ATP Yoshihiro KOIKE / dpa

So-called experts are notorious for getting it wrong. As soon as they open their mouths, a curse is cast on whoever has the misfortune to be spoken about.

“Ronaldo’s in great form. He’ll bring Portugal far.” Cue Portugal’s exit.

“Franck Ribéry will take the competition by storm.” Cue France’s ignominious exit.

“Wayne Rooney will explode into action at any time.” Cue England’s exit following Rooney’s perplexing lack of combustion.

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Irish feeling patriotic for Germany ahead of der Klassiker

Germany’s Miroslav Klose celebrates his goal in the national team’s match against England in the second round of the 2010 World Cup. Germany went onto win 4:1. Photo: picture-alliance / M.i.S.-Sportpressefoto

Germany’s Miroslav Klose celebrates his goal in the national team’s match against England in the second round of the 2010 World Cup. Germany went onto win 4:1. Photo: picture-alliance / M.i.S.-Sportpressefoto

Now that the French are out of the way with the unexpected bonus of more Schadenfreude than we could possibly have asked for, Irish World Cup ambitions revert to seeing the English knocked out as soon as possible. For me personally, this takes on added significance as the task falls to Germany, the country I now call home.

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The Irish celebrate as Les Bleus look set to go home

Javier hernandez (L) of Mexico rounds France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (R) to score the opening goal ; Photo: Back Page Images / BPI; 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa - Group A France v Mexico 18 June 2010, Photo:  (c) picture-alliance / Back Page Images

Javier hernandez (L) of Mexico rounds France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (R) to score the opening goal ; Photo: Back Page Images / BPI; 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa - Group A France v Mexico 18 June 2010, (c) picture-alliance

Fireworks greeted the first goal. And again the second. But they weren’t for Germany. In fact, living in Berlin as I do, it seems fireworks go off for every goal, scored by every team! In such a multinational city, someone’s going to be celebrating no matter who scores or wins. It means we’re all winners really. No? All winners? You’re not buying it?!

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The Jabulani Ball: Kicking Controversy

The Adidas 'Jabulani' football, the official ball of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, being tested in a wind tunnel. © dpa

The Adidas 'Jabulani' football, the official ball of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa, being tested in a wind tunnel. © dpa

Nobody’s happy. Not the coaches, not the players, not the officials in charge, and certainly not the players. Nobody is happy with the ball to be used at the World Cup, despite having had weeks to get used to kicking it in frustration.

The new Adidas ball is ironically called ‘Jabulani,’ meaning ‘to celebrate’ in the native South African isiZulu dialect, but nobody is celebrating its apparent unpredictability.

First Spain’s Captain and Goalkeeper Iker Casillas had a go at it, said it was too light, and described it as a “beach ball.”  Brazil shot-stopper Julio Cesar wasn’t complimentary either: “It’s the same as the balls you buy in the supermarket,” he said.

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