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#SoccerIsBack: What the Bundesliga and Germany got right this past weekend

Soccer (football) returned this past weekend with a whole lot of star power.

The Bundesliga, Germany’s primary football competition, held eight games Saturday and Sunday, the first football matches in over two months in the country, and across all major soccer leagues in the world.

“Against all the odds, it’s match day 26,” the commentator for Dortmund vs. Schalke beamed as kickoff approached.


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Back on track! 💪😁👍

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Dortmund was the biggest club facing off on Saturday and did not disappoint, winning 4-0 over their rivals Schalke in the Revierderby. 19-year-old Erling Håland opened the scoring, and the club did not look back.

Since moving over to Dortmund, Håland has shown why he was so highly touted across the world. This youngster has a knack for putting the ball in the net- a seemingly desirable trait for any striker- but one that is only intrinsically found in a select few.

Håland knows where to be to receive the ball in an optimal location; just look at his goal in this game as an example.

He has an unmistakable prowess in the air, a strength not commonly found in a player of his age, and a determination to win. Dortmund truly has a gem on its hands that it can build upon for years to come.

The biggest club in Germany, Bayern Munich, also played over the weekend on Sunday, winning its match against Union Berlin 2-0. Star striker, and former Dortmund player, Robert Lewandowski scored in his return to the pitch.


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See you tomorrow⚽😎✌️@fcbayern

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The weekend was a beautiful return to the biggest sport in the world, a team sport that requires contact between 22 players, chemistry between 11 teammates on the field alone.

There was brief controversy, as to be expected. In Hoffenheim’s showdown with Hertha Berlin, Vedad Ibisevic gave Berlin a 2-0 lead over his former team. Ibisevic and his teammates embraced, before separating as they presumably remembered the hygiene protocol set in place by the German Football League (DFL). Hertha Berlin will not be punished, but the celebrations by the team were the subject of controversy after the match.

“Soccer is a contact sport,” Hertha head coach Bruno Labbadia said.

“The teams have been tested six times. We are close to the opponents during every duel, every corner kick. We cannot prevent such things. It is a fine line we are walking.”


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#MondayMotivation brought to you directly from @DierotenBullen’s @EForsberg10! 🚀💥

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It is important for players, coaches, and fans alike to accept that things are different right now, while still acknowledging the innate fundamental qualities of soccer. Camaraderie, chemistry, unity.

Players will have to keep their distance when they can, even just for purposes of how it looks. But with Germany’s handling of the coronavirus, constant and reliable testing, everyone should understand when celebrating and extremely close contact occurs.

Is it the stereotypical uber-rationality of Germans that has allowed for the country to weather the storm of coronavirus? Is it the leadership from Merkel and proper delegation and listening to scientists? Most likely a combination, but for Europe’s richest and most populous country, it is clear what it is doing is working.

Despite some minor hiccups, the weekend showed that the Bundesliga, and consequently Germany, is leading the charge in properly handling the coronavirus and the reinstatement of sports and businesses.

Strange hearing new sounds of the game without an uproarious crowd cheering? Yeah. A tad eerie seeing the visuals of players performing in an empty stadium? Absolutely.

But we must take what we can get, and beautiful football being returned to our lives is a sight for sore eyes. This was match week 26 of 34. We can’t wait to continue tuning in.