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“The Miracle of Bochum”


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A crazy weekend is behind us – we have secured our place in the Bundesliga! After eleven years away from the league, we started the season as clear underdogs. Spectacular performances in recent months thrilled football fans, not just VfL supporters. VfL Bochum 1848 has been noticed and celebrated all over Germany. Last Saturday and the days that followed were no exception. We have collected a few press comments after our 4-3 victory in the Ruhr derby against Borussia Dortmund. Words that speak for themselves:

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 01.05.2022: „The Miracle of Bochum“

”We have learned excellently from the things that have happened to us,” said Bochum director of sports Sebastian Schindzielorz. “We never really slipped to the bottom of the table. That’s an absolutely impressive performance.” On top of that, the old-fashioned Bochum stadium worked superbly even under pandemic conditions with a significantly reduced crowd. “No pinstripes, no white ballet, no fuss – street football anne Castroper Strasse!” claims a clever image campaign.”

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 Süddeutsche Zeitung, 01.05.2022: „Triumph of street football anne Castroper Strasse“

VfL Bochum celebrated staying up in the Bundesliga with more emotion than Bayern had celebrated their championship title a week earlier. But that was not difficult. “Come to stay” could be read on specially printed T-shirts. “A fantastic season” says director of sport Sebastian Schindzielorz, among other things with a 4-2 win against Bayern Munich, the 4-3 in Dortmund, 2-0 victories against Frankfurt and Hoffenheim or the 2-1 against Freiburg. “This season was VfL-like”, Schindzielorz thinks, namely “against all odds”. […] VfL Bochum had previously languished in the second division for eleven years in a row, sometimes narrowly avoiding the drop into the third division. Financially and sportingly hardly competitive, the people at VfL Bochum still demonstrated a passion that fitted perfectly into the club’s marketing campaign of “street football anne Castroper Strasse”: a football romanticism that can overcome economic and hierarchical constraints.

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Zeit online, 02.05.2022: „Thank you, Bochum, for this beautiful footballing story“

Allegedly, people were not completely sober at the ´Three Sixty´, the bar where players and coaches celebrated with the fans, spontaneously, lying in each other’s arms, at the bar, on the bar. The beer ran out, it was said, but that won’t have been a real problem. The end result was demolition. Recently, it was often heard that professional football should move closer to the rest of society again. Thank you for this lesson, you flower in the Ruhr!

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11Freunde, 03.05.2022: „Football’s last secret“

Of course, it’s nice that VfL Bochum will continue to play in the Bundesliga next season. It is even nicer that this certainty came about through the first victory in almost a quarter of a century at the local rivals’ ground in Dortmund. And it’s especially nice that VfL Bochum players celebrated their success like a group of lads from the Sunday league: with trashy old jerseys, silly glasses and crowdsurfing in the Bochum party mile. Surprisingly, this is not only nice from the point of view of the club’s supporters, who still walk around as if they have taken an overdose of mood enhancers.

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Kicker, 30.04.2022: „A fairy tale for football romantics“

Most experts did not expect more than a brief interlude in the Bundesliga for the traditional club from the Ruhr region after its promotion in 2021. VfL had spent eleven long years in the second division and accordingly missed the boat in both sporting and financial terms. However, the example of Bochum clearly shows how a team can survive in the Bundesliga even with limited financial resources.

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ntv, 01.05.2022: „Giant killings for staying up“

The team earned good results, self-confidence – and then a frenzy that created several minor and major heroic stories. In the league. In the cup. These were stories of dream solos (Holtmann as early as matchday 2), of 50-and-more-metre goals (Pantovic), of gigantic saves and converted penalties (Riemann), of passionate fighters like Christian Gamboa or the comeback of long written-off football characters like target man Sebastian Polter, as well as rousing victories and an unshakeable stand-up mentality after setbacks like the recent ones against SC Freiburg and FC Augsburg. […] On 30 April 2022, VfL Bochum 1848 was no longer in limbo. They will remain a first-division football club – on this evening powerful, loud and proud. Proud of their modest football miracle between the A40, the eternally congested social equator of the Ruhr region, and the Krümmede, the old clink. In the pubs, in the gardens and in the flats, Herbert Grönemeyer sang. The anthem of the city. United as “you and your VfL…”

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Taz, 01.05.2022, „The lads vonner Castroper“

From the very beginning, VfL Bochum distinguished itself as a club that avoids the excesses of professional football: “No pinstripes, no white ballet, no fuss – Castroper street football!” is the claim of an image campaign. The fantastic stadium on Castroper Strasse is a gift to the Bundesliga because football here really feels like it did in those glorified years around the turn of the millennium. And because a dense, intense atmosphere was created here even under Corona conditions with greatly reduced capacity. The real sensation is that VfL Bochum have actually succeeded in living this “pure football” slogan in a credible way.

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“The Miracle of Bochum”
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