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Union Berlin Thread

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unionlogook.png?itok=mZmKF9df

A time impossible not to like after last year's promotion to the Bundesliga and the celebration that followed. Started off their first year in the top division alright thus far, winning against Dortmund being a massive result. 

Saw this video below as I've read a little about their very interesting history, and this video (I think) is brilliant. 

 

 

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Match Recap of Union Berlin's 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Eco said:

unionlogook.png?itok=mZmKF9df

 

 

Good documentary, shame it states incorrectly this would be the first Berlin derby since Tennis Borussia  and Hertha BSC both played in the Buli in 74/75 and 76/77, also there were the Buli matches between Hertha BSC and BW at the end of the 80's. Saying these weren't Berlin derbies because the East wasn't represented is like saying Tottenham versus Arsenal wasn't a London derby because both teams come from the north of this city.

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55 minutes ago, Rucksackfranzose said:

Good documentary, shame it states incorrectly this would be the first Berlin derby since Tennis Borussia  and Hertha BSC both played in the Buli in 74/75 and 76/77, also there were the Buli matches between Hertha BSC and BW at the end of the 80's. Saying these weren't Berlin derbies because the East wasn't represented is like saying Tottenham versus Arsenal wasn't a London derby because both teams come from the north of this city.

I don't know enough to really have known all that, but I did like the documentary, but I guess I like it less now knowing that it's incorrect in some of the facts. 

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Just now, Rucksackfranzose said:

Can only see the last 1 and a half minute.:(

That's odd - see if you can scroll to the beginning. 

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14 minutes ago, Eco said:

That's odd - see if you can scroll to the beginning. 

Thanks, for some reason it didn't work iniatially but worked, when I restarted my pc.:ay:

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A good informative article on Union Berlin. I didn't know much about them, if anything at all, before their promotion this season.

It seems extremely fan-orientated as if it's the club that has something to give back to them given how many times the club been saved or helped out by them.

I like that there's no music, half-time entertainment and it's purely the fans creating the atmosphere.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50225455

Quote

 

"The fans even donated blood. You get paid for donating blood in Germany. The money they got for it kept the club alive."

The words of German football journalist Jacob Sweetman reflect the sacrifices Union Berlin's fans have made during their club's journey towards a piece of history.

In May, they became the first club from east Berlin to reach the Bundesliga. On Saturday, they will meet their neighbours Hertha BSC, from the west of the city.

Never before has there been a Bundesliga fixture between east and west Berlin. Indeed, there was a time, when the city was divided by the Berlin Wall, that such a fixture would have been impossible.

After World War Two, Germany divided into two countries. East Germany came under the communist control of the Soviet Union, while West Germany allied with the UK, France, and the United States.

Berlin was also split in two; in 1961, its wall was built to separate the city and prevent people from fleeing the Soviet-controlled eastern half. It did not come down until 1989.

On the sporting front, east Berlin's teams competed in the East German league system until the reunification of the country in 1990 - with Union Berlin the first to make it to the top flight since.

"Without the fans, this club is nothing," Sweetman told Football Focus.

Union play at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei in the eastern neighbourhood of Kopenick. The ground, which is terracing on three sides, holds 22,000.

The club risked losing their licence in 2008 when those terraces were crumbling, but 2,500 fans volunteered to rebuild the stadium and put in 140,000 hours of work between them.

"They bought themselves back from the brink and they rebuilt their own stadium," Sweetman added. "You can feel that when you go there. It belongs to them, not to anyone else."

He said that, at a friendly against Hertha BSC, fans who worked on the stadium wore red builder's hats and "there was not a dry eye in the house".

"There have been periods in history where the club has been on the brink of bankruptcy," said Sweetman, noting how fans gave the money they received for blood donations to keep the club alive.

Christian Arbeit, head of communications at Union Berlin, said the campaign "Bleed for Union" was created by the fans.

"This was a very strong symbol of what people are ready to give," said Arbeit.

The fans' love for the club is so strong that according to journalist Rylan James, a group once broke into the stadium to wish each other Merry Christmas - and it has been repeated every year since as a tradition.

"They were so fed up about losing the last game before Christmas and went home and sulked," James said. "Then they realised that they hadn't wished each other merry Christmas. So they broke into the stadium with some gluhwein and biscuits, wished each other a merry Christmas and sang carols on the halfway line."

There is no half-time entertainment, advertisement or music played at Union matches. Arbeit says the club don't need to "give the fans any help to celebrate".

"If our team score a goal, it's an explosion of noise and emotion in the stadium," he said.

"The president crosses the same parking lot as a normal fan. We are close together. People know they are welcome with what they have to bring in - ideas, their own hands' work. They know the club is appreciating of that."

Fan Ingo Platz said: "I went to Union because it was a proletarian club. People loved to drink beer. There is a strong connection with bikers and people knew each other.

"These rough emotions - it's what Union is all about. Football is the last place you can live those emotions and Union is a place, a rare island, where it's welcomed to support the team in a creative and loud manner.

"People in society are looking for a place they are respected - not as consumers, but as human beings."

Union Berlin were given their current name in 1966. In the 60 years before that, the club had played under a variety of names. According to Sweetman, they have a long-held "anti-establishment" identity.

"They have certainly rebelled against the establishment," he said. "There are great stories about them chanting 'the wall must go' at free-kicks - because that's the only time you could chant that in East Germany.

"They were a club that represented their people during the Cold War. Berlin is a city of rebels. You would struggle to find a club here that doesn't represent the rebels in one way or another.

Arbeit said this "rebellious" attitude led to the "alternative culture" that exists within the club today.

"Guys with long hair, growing beards and all that stuff - they went to Union and felt freedom and wildness," said Arbeit. "There was not explicitly political opposition, but if you were a young guy who wanted to feel freedom and live your life, then you went to Union.

"As long as they are free to do their things, they feel alive. Union gave home to this."

During the Union's opening fixture in the Bundesliga - a 4-0 defeat at home to RB Leipzig - the fans held up nearly 500 posters of deceased supporters.

"The idea of having those people who couldn't be there represented, summed up the club in so many ways," said Sweetman.

Platz added: "It was very emotional. We bought our dead friends and relatives into the stadium. It was very respectful."

The day they gained promotion was emotional too and Arbeit said he "doesn't know when the feelings will stop".

"If I see the pictures these days I start crying immediately," he said. "It's so great to see what power football still has in these times when a fan experiences the most unbelievable success.

"The fans know it will be a very hard year in the Bundesliga. We will have to struggle until the very last game of season to stay in."

 

 

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2 hours ago, nudge said:

 

Didn't know "Eisern Union" is a Christmas carol :ph34r:

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Once upon a time there was a young guy named Tommy.  He was a good guy and was well liked - even loved - by many of his friends, but as he got older he became more and more cynical and his friends could not understand why.  Perhaps his friends in the field were not doing what he wanted, or his other friends on the line did not understand his hurting at the results of his mates' efforts, but they all hoped that when the old year went away, the old Tommy would return and his new-favourite 'f' word would be forgotten.

The moral of the story

Can we please have our old Tommy back

:hh:

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Union have suspended Sebastian Polter and said he won't play another match for them due to "unsolidar behaviour". Apparently, he was the only one in the whole club who refused to accept a pay cut. 

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Their decision and keeping solidarity with the others it was probably the correct one to make!

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Union have signed Andreas Luthe as the new #1. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, nudge said:

Union have signed Andreas Luthe as the new #1. 

 

 

That's interesting news, because there were several reports that Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler could be joining Union Berlin. The 2014 World Cup winner and ex-Manchester United keeper is now apparently 2nd choice at Hannover behind Michael Esser. So a move to Union Berlin looked quite logical seeing as they were thin on the goalkeeping front. However, Zieler may not now be heading to Berlin after all, after the announcement that Union have signed Luthe instead.

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1 minute ago, Michael said:

That's interesting news, because there were several reports that Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler could be joining Union Berlin. The 2014 World Cup winner and ex-Manchester United keeper is now apparently 2nd choice at Hannover behind Michael Esser. So a move to Union Berlin looked quite logical seeing as they were thin on the goalkeeping front. However, Zieler may not be heading to Berlin after all, after the announcement that Union have signed Luthe instead.

Zieler was probably too expensive for Union, I suppose... 

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2 minutes ago, nudge said:

Zieler was probably too expensive for Union, I suppose... 

Yeah, probably, I did read that he is on relatively high wages at Hannover as well. However, I am still quite sure that Zieler will leave Hannover this summer, even if he no longer has a chance of joining Union.

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Just now, Michael said:

Yeah, probably, I did read that he is on relatively high wages at Hannover as well. However, I am still quite sure that Zieler will leave Hannover this summer, even if he no longer has a chance of joining Union.

Well yeah, after Martin Kind's not-so-kind comments today, I am sure he'll be very happy to leave... 

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And Zieler just isn't that good...

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Another new signing for Union... Robin Knoche on a free transfer! :o

 

Fantastic signing, would have wanted him in Werder too... Oliver Ruhnert is doing a great job. 

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Still wish he joined us, but at least he chose the 2nd sexiest club in the league B|

 

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Loris Karius is about to join Union, currently undergoing his medical.

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Union just signed Levin Öztunali.

Hope he can finally live up to his potential there under Urs Fischer. 

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35 minutes ago, nudge said:

Union just signed Levin Öztunali.

Hope he can finally live up to his potential there under Urs Fischer. 

Seemed to be frozen out at Mainz ever since Svensson took over.  Scored a wonder goal earlier this season but otherwise blah this year.

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4 minutes ago, Coma said:

Seemed to be frozen out at Mainz ever since Svensson took over.  Scored a wonder goal earlier this season but otherwise blah this year.

Somehow, he never managed to live up to expectations so far. Definitely not a bad footballer, fast, good shot, quite impressive technical ability, but something has been lacking for him to truly impress and perform consistently. Should be a good replacement for Gogia though, and who knows, maybe he'll bloom at Union. On a free transfer, so no risk anyway.

Öztunali, Jaekels, Rani Khedira - that's 3 free transfers for the next season already, and they also signed Puchacz from Lech (no clue how good he is) for the left back.

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Union signed Genki Haraguchi and are about to sign Serdar Dursun. :o Two very good signings. 

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17 minutes ago, Tommy said:

Union signed Genki Haraguchi and are about to sign Serdar Dursun. :o Two very good signings. 

Union showing how you should do business in Bundesliga with relatively low budget. Brilliant signings so far. 

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Why doesn't Berlin have a dominated football club like almost every major European capital city has? Not a footballing city? 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, McAzeem said:

Why doesn't Berlin have a dominated football club like almost every major European capital city has? Not a footballing city? 

Well, first of all Germany is a federal state, in which the capital never was that central as in other European countries. Capital of West Germany wasn't Berlin but Bonn, by the way. Third of all West Berlin was a poor city, depending on money injections from the mainland and in exclave of West Germany surrounded by the GDR on top.  And finally BFC Dynamo, an East Berlin club was record champion of the GDR. Hope that response is satisfactory.:)

Edited by Rucksackfranzose
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