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East or West: Where would today’s Germany greats play?

| 10.11.2014

In light of the 25th anniversary of the inner German border being opened up, which marked an end to the Cold War, Coral’s football experts began to wonder which side of the Berlin Wall some of Die Mannschaft’s present day stars would have to declare for if it still stood?

Reunification between East and West really galvanized German football in the 1990s. They won the World Cup at Italia ’90 and Euro ’96 on English soil.

Prior to Joachim Low’s lads regaining the title of world champions in Brazil this past summer, those above successes were the last major honours won by Germany. They are 7/2 favourites with Coral to win Euro 2016 outright in France.

So, based on their place of birth, which side of the old divide would five of Die Mannschaft’s key players be representing?

Manuel Neuer
Ballon d’Or nominee and Bayern Munich stopper Neuer hails from Gelsenkirchen, the industrial heartland of the Ruhr Valley. He spent 14 years in Schalke’s academy before moving to the Allianz Arena, but would very much be a worthy rival to any of the great West Germany number ones.

Marcel Schmelzer
Borussia Dortmund left back Schmelzer missed Die Mannschaft’s World Cup triumph on South American soil, and continues to be an injury absentee, weakening Low’s defence. A fractured hand is the latest reason for him being sidelined. Schmelzer comes from Madgeburg, meaning he would play for East Germany if the Wall still stood.

Benedikt Howedes
The town of Haltern, near the Dutch border in North-Rhine Westphalia, has produced two great German defenders in recent times. One was Christoph Metzelder and the other is Schalke skipper Howedes. He can be sure of a centre back berth for upcoming internationals in the absence of Dortmund counterpart Mats Hummels. Howedes would be turning out for West Germany if the divided still existed today.

Toni Kroos
When you think of East Germany, proximity to the Baltic states behind the Iron Curtain is one evocative image. Real Madrid’s deep-lying creative force Kroos comes from Greifswald, near Rostock, in the Mecklenburg region. If East was still separate from West, he would probably captain that former country.

Thomas Muller
With his origins in the south Bavarian city of Weilheim in Oberbayern, Munich menace Muller would be West Germany’s main goal threat. He’s already chasing down namesake Gerd and Mirsolav Klose in the list of World Cup finals scorers with 10 across two tournaments.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.