Good morning, dear reader,
this one moment counts. Highest concentration. Clenched lips. Gaze. Don’t make a mistake now, just not now, not at this moment! The pressure of tens of thousands of people in the stadium and millions more in front of the TV. “The whole world was looking at my right foot,” told me Andreas Brehme told when I asked him a few years ago how he experienced the moment when he scored the winning goal in the 1990 World Cup final. “At the approach I thought: stay calm! Just concentrate on the shot! Then I shot with my right. When the ball ran towards the inside post, I had a moment of shock – but then it was in.”
Then he was in. Inside, inside, inside. In such a moment, only this extremely banal and at the same time extremely important fact counts: inside. Whole novels could be written about a player’s fear of the penalty kick, it can seem like an eternity to him. Some think of their mom, others of their children, some try to think of nothing at all: hide everything, empty the brain so that the body functions automatically and the miserable pill just purely, purely !, purely! makes. And a second or two later, the only thing that counts is the result: in or out, torrents of happiness hormones – or abysses of shame.
It must have been the same with the penalty takers last night, when they competed with the opposing goalkeepers at the end of the first semi-final of the European Football Championship. Italy versus Spain, the classic. Football art at the highest level, even if not every scene is refined with brilliance and ingenuity. 1-1 after extra time, so the penalty shoot-out has to decide the game. Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon saves the Italians first shot. Then the Spaniard Dani Olmo, this light-footed child prodigy from RB Leipzig, throws the ball over the box. Then three Italians, but only two Spaniards, sink the ball in the net – and now they all rest on one man, the tens of thousands, the millions of pairs of eyes: Italy Jorginho has the decision on the foot. He is 29 years old, grew up in a family of Italian descent in Brazil, moved to Italy alone when he was 15, struggled, lived on little money, he not only knows the bright side of life. Now all the headlights are on him. He runs up, stops, lets the Spanish goalkeeper dive into the left corner – and slowly pushes the ball into the right. You can’t be more cool. It’s over, the game is over! Perhaps the best team in Europe is in the final. The Azzurri run across the square and hug each other, tens of thousands frolic in the stands.
It is these archaic moments that create the magic of football. Even if it’s just a game. Even if it is unreasonable to let so many spectators into a stadium in times of the Corona Delta. Despite everything, something remains after such an evening: an uplifting feeling in the hearts of everyone who saw the spectacle. The certainty that some of the most thrilling moments in our lives can be triggered by a very simple process: A foot kicks a ball – in a net or not in a net. You can be grateful for that. Grace, Ragazzi!
Italy’s shooter Jorginho pushes the decisive penalty ball into the corner of the goal. (Source: Facundo Arrizabalaga / Pool EPA / AP / dpa)
And now the second semifinals
One soccer thriller could be followed by the next: Tonight hits London’s Wembley Stadium, which is again too full England on Denmark. The English team is perhaps the best since 1966, kicks compact, smart, ball-safe – and now also has the home advantage. The Danish trainer Kasper Hjulmand has therefore decided to cunningly reinterpret the situation: “They have a lot of fans, but they also have extremely high expectations, so we want to take advantage of that.” You can see it that way too, of course.
Relaxed travel rules
Federal police officers check passengers on a plane from Portugal at Frankfurt Airport. (Source: Boris Roessler / dpa)
There are two monstrous words that make it clear that post-pandemic normality is unfortunately still a long way off: As of today, Portugal, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russia, India and Nepal are no longer considered Virus Variant Area, but “only” still as High incidence areas. The downgrading of the risk category by the Robert Koch Institute means first of all that the entry restrictions from these countries to Germany will be relaxed: For those who have been completely vaccinated and those who have recovered, the quarantine obligation is no longer applicable, for everyone else it is shortened.
However, the background is less pleasant. Because the relief is because the Delta-Variant of Coronavirus, whose spread should be slowed down, has long since arrived in Germany. In the RKI report last Wednesday, their share of new infections was already 37 percent. In addition, the number of infections is still too high in several European countries. Great Britain is the country with the highest numbers in Europe, Portugal has the highest values in the European Union after Cyprus. With the downgrading, the number of virus variant areas will drop from 16 to 11 worldwide. Unfortunately, this is not a consolation.
CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak relies on simple slogans. (Source: Kay Nietfeld / dpa)
Since yesterday, the world has known with what sentence Armin Laschet intends to stroll into the Chancellery: “Do Germany together”. It is the title of the CDU poster advertisement presented by General Secretary Paul Ziemiak. Flanking CDU slogans for the election are the slogans: “Learn today what counts tomorrow.” Or: “For affordable living.” Or: “Protect the climate. Create jobs.”
If this seems about as cloudy as cotton candy at the fair, you are not alone. The nebulous ringing of words on election posters is not new, but the CDU likes it particularly vague. The policy advisor Martin Fuchs said to our reporter Tim Kummert: “The posters are as classically calm and uncool as the top candidate. And so they fit perfectly both with the political offer and with the potential conservative voters who will love the posters. No experiments – version 2021. ” In addition, it now turns out that Mr. Laschet hired employees of his own party for his campaign: sometimes a press spokeswoman for the CDU can be seen, sometimes an Internet coordinator.
Of course, that’s a great way forward for the opposition. Agnieszka Brugger, the deputy parliamentary group leader of the Greens and confidante of Annalena Baerbock, said to my colleague: “It says a lot about the CDU’s backward-looking thinking when even disguised employees from their own party headquarters have to serve for the illusory world depicted. This campaign works past the lifestyle of most people in our country. ” And the deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Dirk Wiese unkt: “My impression: The posters were put together just as quickly as the entire election manifesto of the CDU.” What do you think of the motifs please decide for yourself.
In Sweden, the search for a stable government is entering the next round – and it looks as if the new prime minister could be the old one: two weeks after his red-green minority government was overthrown by a vote of no confidence in the course of a rent dispute with the Left Party, the resigned social democrat got it Stefan Löfven the chance of a comeback. Today’s vote in the Stockholm Parliament will show whether he will really succeed in getting his former supporter parties back on track. If he manages that no majority votes against him, he can start work again on Friday. A single deviator among the Social Democrats, the Greens, the Left, including a deputy who has left the party or the Center Party however, it is enough to block his way.
California Governor Gavin Newsom during a vaccination campaign. (Source: imago images)
Despite great progress, the willingness to vaccinate also seems to be declining in Germany. The US has the same problem – and has developed an original idea for a solution as my colleague Bastian Brauns reports.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to lift all corona restrictions in twelve days, including mask requirement and distance rule. Can that work – and would it also be a viable model for Germany? My colleague Sandra Simonsen has answers for you.
Shortly before the federal election, no party wants to spoil the game. That is why Germany is committing the same mistake with its corona easing as a year ago, commented the “FAZ”.
What amuses me
Mark Zuckerberg published a bombastic video for American Independence Day. However, a resourceful contemporary found out what noises the Facebook boss was making (you have to turn on the sound for this).
From tomorrow until the end of July, dawn will come from my capable colleagues. You will read about me again at the beginning of August. Thank you very much for your loyalty and I wish you happy summer weeks.
Editor-in-chief of t-online
With material from dpa.
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