What Germany's football success tells us about the eurozone crisis
LAST night we saw not just a football match between two great teams, but two very different cultural, social and economic models battling for supremacy. On one hand we had the frugal but brilliant Germans of Borussia Dortmund, on the other was the free-spending (and also brilliant) Real Madrid. This was a battle between the local, academy-based Dortmund, and the international, chequebook-driven, Real.
The contrast between the footballing model of Real Madrid and Barcelona or the English clubs of Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea, and the model of Dortmund and Bayern Munich goes to the heart of differing views about the general economy.
Germans are very proud of their Bundesliga. Nowhere is that pride more justified than in Munich, where Bayern Munich, the most successful German football club, reigns supreme. Bayern is a proper club, with a wonderful history. It won the German league at a canter. It has great players and an open, attacking and exciting approach to the game. Bayern recruits local talent, so the heroes on the pitch, from captain Philipp Lahm via playmaker Bastian Schweinsteiger, to striker Thomas Muller are all local lads from the famous Bayern youth academy.