Each week on languagecaster’s podcast we feature a main listening report. This week, Hans (our German correspondent) talks about how players for international teams have more choices to make as they often come from culturally mixed backgrounds. You can listen to the report by clicking the link below and can also read the transcript. Explanations of vocabulary in bold appear at the foot of the post.
Listen to the main listening report here.
The face of the international team is changing. When Germany played Ghana in South Africa it was the first time that two half-brothers were on opposing teams at a World cup. Kevin-Prince Boateng turned out for Ghana whilst his younger brother Jerome was in the German team. In this day and age of dual nationalities and immigration, both had to choose which country to represent.
For some national teams this is not new. France, for example, has had players of African decent in their team for a long time. Holland too. And other nations with a strong multi-cultural emphasis, such as Australia, have also benefited on the football pitch.
So what makes this picture interesting? It is because the two players have almost identical backgrounds, yet they have made different decisions.
The Turkish player is Nuri Sahin. The German is Mesut Özil. Both were born in 1988 in Germany. Both have Turkish parents. But both have grown up, gone to school and played all their football in Germany. Today Nuri plays for Borussia Dortmund, whilst Mesut has recently moved to Real Madrid.
During the recent Euro qualifier between Turkey and Germany in Berlin this new generation of football players was on the pitch. The strong connection between these two countries meant that many fans supporting both teams came to the match, some even wearing both team’s colors. In fact the game was referred to by some as an ‘Away Game’ for Germany.
For the record, Germany won 3-0 and Mesut Özil was booed whenever he touched the ball.
to turn out for: to play for (a team), to be selected for, to represent
to represent: to play for, to be selected for, to turn out for
this picture: this situation, this story, this idea
qualifier: a game in played to decide if a team can enter a competition, a game to select a team for a tournament
away game: when team plays a game played at another ground – not their own
to boo: to jeer, to make a noise, show disapproval