Football: FC Luzern - Borussia Moenchengladbach


Why do we love football so much? Is it because everybody can have an opinion: who was the best player ever? Pele? Cruyff? Best? Maradona? And what about those playing now? Messi? Ronaldo? Everybody’s opinion is as good as anyone else’s. Or which was the best ever team? Real Madrid in 1960? Brazil in 1970? West Germany from 1972 to 74? Manchester United in 1999? And how would present day teams like Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Spain have got on against them? The beauty of it is there is no right answer!

The pictures in this edition of the newsletter were taken on 17 May 2016 at FC Luzern in Switzerland. Luzern were playing Borussia Moenchengladbach in a friendly at the Swissporarena.
It’s a long journey for the “beautiful game” from its origins in medieval village rivalry, where two gangs of citizens tried to kick an inflated pig’s bladder to their respective target, to the highly technical, highly paid profession of today. In the UK the first ever £1m transfer fee was paid to take Trevor Francis to Nottingham Forest in 1979. Since then Real Madrid and Barcelona have paid the highest transfer fees, with the former paying £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo and £85.3m for Gareth Bale, and the latter paying £71.5m for Neymar and £75m for Luis Suarez.
But these days, paying the players’ wages is a bigger problem than raising the transfer fee, some of which you might get back later when the player moves on. Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahamovic are thought to be paid £250k a week, while Cristiano Ronaldo is reputed to earn £288,000 a week. Messi is not far behind on a weekly wage of £275,000. And that is almost certainly a lot less than the same players earn from advertising and sponsorship.

Of course with so much money in the modern game, there is plenty of opportunity for corruption, and seemingly, high ranking officials in the sport’s governing body, FIFA, have not been immune to the temptation. The US Justice Department indicted nine top administrators of the game Americans call ‘soccer,’ on charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering in 2015, and Switzerland managed to arrest several of them during that country’s criminal investigation into FIFA, which has its HQ outside Zürich. The 80 year old President of FIFA for seventeen years, the Swiss Sepp Blatter, along with other top officials, was banned from anything to do with football for eight years, following an accusation of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation from the Swiss Attorney General’s office.

All the above is a far cry from the friendly match at the Swissporarena, the home of FC Luzern, seating a modest 16,800. As the pictures make clear, only 2,000 spectators turned up to see the match, which did not feature Moenchengladbach’s Swiss stars Yann Sommer and Granit Xhaka. (From some seats in the stadium you have a view of Mount Pilatus – a pleasant alternative if the game itself is dull!) Luzern, who finished 3rd in the Swiss Super League (in which there are only ten teams) in 2016, lost the friendly to Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-6.

swissporarena, Luzern Fohlen Shop Football, ticket swissporarena, Luzern
Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bus swissporarena, Lucerne swissporarena Football, Stadium
Football, warm up Football, Stadium, Lawn Borussia Moenchengladbach, Names Borussia Moenchengladbach, FC Luzern
Football swissporarena, Luzern Football, Teams Borussia Moenchengladbach, FC Luzern
Goal Keeper, FCL Football, game Borussia Moenchengladbach, Fohlentour Borussia Moenchengladbach, FCL
Swissporarena, FCL - Borussia Borussia Moenchengladbach, FCL Borussia Moenchengladbach, FC Luzern Football, Player
swissporarena, Football, FCL Football, Borussia - FCL Borussia Moenchengladbach - FC Luzern Goal Keeper, FC Luzern
Throw in, FC Luzern swissporarena, Football Borussia Moenchengladbach, FCL, football Football, Score
Borussia Moenchengladbach - FCL Football, Player Football, Corner Football, Player, FC Luzern
Football, Corner Football, Borussia - FC Luzern Linesman, Football Linesman, Football
Swissporarena, Mount Pilatus Football, Borussia - FC Luzern Football, Photographer Swissporarena, Lucerne
Borussia Moenchengladbach - FC Luzern, 2016 Football, Mount Pilatus Football, Borussia - FCL Borussia Moenchengladbach, Herrmann
Borussia Moenchengladbach, Herrmann Football, Soccer Linesman, Football Football, Borussia Moenchengladbach - FCL
Swissporarena, result football Borussia Moenchengladbach - FCL, football Borussia Moenchengladbach - FC Luzern, Football Football, Borussia Moenchengladbach - FC Luzern