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Tor!: The Story of German Football

Uli Hesse

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From the publisher:

Germany did not have professional players or a national league until the 1960s, yet it became one of the most successful football nations in the world. Tor! (Goal!) traces the extraordinary story of Germany's club and international football, from the days when it was regarded as a dangerously foreign pastime, through the horrors of the Nazi years to postwar triumphs and the crisis of the new century. Tor! challenges the myth that German football is 'predictable' or 'efficient' and brings to life the fascinating array of characters who shaped it: the betrayed pioneer Walther Bensemann; the enigmatic genius Sepp Herberger; the all-conquering Franz Beckenbauer; the modern misfit Lothar Matthaus.

And even the radio commentator Herbert Zimmermann, whose ecstatic cries of 'Tor!' greeted the winning goal in the 1954 World Cup final and helped change a whole nation's view of itself. Fully revised and updated ahead of the 2022 World Cup, Tor! is the definitive history of German football.

The author:

Uli Hesse is an editor at 11Freunde, Germany's biggest football monthly, and has been published on five continents. His first English-language book, Tor! The Story of German Football, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, while two of his German books have been nominated for that country's Football Book of the Year prize. In June 2017, he was appointed a member of the German Academy for Football Culture. His book, Building the Yellow Wall, won Football Book of the Year at the 2019 British Sports Book Awards.


Polaris Publishing
24 x 15 cm
288 pages
May 2022