It’s the end of the 2008/09 season and the world around German football is buoyant. VFB Wolfsburg had just won the first league title in their history, rising from ninth to first in ten weeks. They would never let go and it proved to be the only thing between Bayern Munich and a three-peat.
That’s eight weeks discounting the fact that Germany had more than a month and a half winter break between December 13th and January 31st. Yet, this was a magnificent Wolfsburg side with Edin Dzeko and Grafite scoring a combined 54 goals in the Bundesliga alone. It saw Christan Gentner and Edin Dzeko plus Zvjezdan Misimovic notch up forty assists in seasons that nobody but Dzeko has managed to put up since. Not just that, that Wolfsburg team completely took apart a wonderful Bayern Munich, that happened to be league leaders and had a catalogue of superstars, 5-1.
However, they did exactly what RB Leipzig are aiming for this season and yet, when Wolfsburg won the league title, the word RB Leipzig never even existed. That is outside the minds and the boardrooms at Red Bull with the club only technically coming into existence on 19th May 2009. Eleven years on and they’ve played a massive part in the questions surrounding German football in the recent weeks. Weeks that have seen banners with colourful language, if we can call it that, about Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp flood German football stadiums with games stopped, banned and even farcically finished.
The message was a simple abusive phrase directed at the Hoffenheim owner and his side starting in his own stadium. It would then happen again at Koln, at Union Berlin, and at Bochum in the German second tier. The days since have brought about questions and asked for answers, neither of which have come about freely. But this is not the first time a protest like this has happened and the last time it did, nothing of the sort ever happened. Fans all around German routinely boycott games at the Red Bull Arena and nearly all of them display banners overflowing with colourful words. Dynamo Dresden’s supporters took things one step ahead and threw a severed bull’s head onto the field.
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