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We are European champions!!!

Germany wins again with a surprising 3-2 against Hungary in Switzerland

(Photos Bernhard Herzer)

Dramatic games in Valais

WEINELF Germany became European champions with a legendary 3-2 win against Hungary

4. July 1954 in the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern: Germany becomes football world champion with a surprising 3-2 win against Hungary, who had been unbeaten for four years. The shooter of the winning goal is Helmut Rahn. 60 years later on May 24th, again in Switzerland, in the stadium in Salgesch in Valais. Germany plays against Hungary again. But this time it is the wine teams from both countries who fought their way to the final in an exciting tournament. The redeeming goal to make it 3-2, this time in extra time, went to “Helmut Rahn”. Since then, that has been the name of young winemaker Fabian Schmidt from Oberrotweil. Anyone who calls the Bercher-Schmidt winery and asks for “Helmut” will immediately be connected to the 31-year-old by their father...

The fact that he scored after a pass from Pascal Sohns in the 5th minute of extra time after an extremely exciting match was the execution of an order. Captain Andy Spreitzer, who was out for the final, said in the brief discussion before the final minutes: “Fabian, you make it 3-2 and we win.” That's how it was, because goalkeeper Jürgen Flade was still there shortly before the final whistle A penalty he caused himself was parried by Hungary - thus triggering a frenzy of joy among the wine team.

The tension level was also very high before, as the score suggests. First, the strong Hungarians took the lead. Then Christian Gebhardt almost shot the Hungarian keeper into his goal with one of his feared long-range shots: 1-1. The Hungarians took the lead again because defender Steffen Röll couldn't avoid a penalty. When Michael Gutzler equalized shortly before the end after a dream combination with Pascal Sohns, Röll, who caused the 11, “would have liked to carry him all the way to Lausanne.”

There was a lot of celebration after this “heart attack finale” (Weinelf organization boss Erica Fischbach). And don't forget how difficult the road to the final was. The first duel against Switzerland was easily won 2-1 after goals from Julian Semet and Pascal Sohns. The host Confederates (who ended up in last place, 6th) were lucky that the Weinelf shooters had bad luck and a number of top chances were wasted.

As second in the group behind Italy (1-1 against the Weinelf, goalscorer Christian Gebhardt with a precise free kick), we made it to the semi-finals and experienced a football thriller of a special class. The Slovenians demanded everything from the German wine team. Again Christian Gebhardt, known to everyone as “Gebi”, scored the opening goal with a penalty. Then the score was 1:1. Michael Gutzler put the German team back in the lead, but the equalizer was conceded before the final whistle. So extra time and finally a penalty shootout. First, Rheinhessen Stefan Winter converted, then Julian Semet missed - and immediately afterwards he would have liked to have shot goalkeeper Jürgen Flade because he parried Hungary's penalty. Afterwards, Pascal Sohns, Fabian Schmidt (who later became “Helmut”), Christian Gebhardt and Michael Gutzler proved to be accurate, while the last Hungarian shooter missed the target – the final was reached.

This was followed the next day by the dramatic and, from the wine team's point of view, already legendary 3:2 against Hungary. There was a bit of mourning afterwards for the brave Swiss hosts, who had staged a great European championship but were unsuccessful. In the end, Italy came third ahead of Slovenia (champions in 2012) and Austria. A few downsides were injuries to the wine team during the tournament. Michael Kern, Carsten Strauß and Andy Spreitzer had it tougher, but he commented appropriately on his torn ligaments as captain: "When you become European champion, you don't feel anything like that and you take it easy.

Rudolf Knoll

Final day

Day 3