Ignorance or Arrogance? How German Sport Anchors Commented on the Albanian Team at Euro 2016

Three brainies were gathered at the Europapark Rust to analyze the game Rumania vs Albanian (#RUMALB) for SAT.1. Indeed Frank Buschmann, sports anchor for SAT.1, Marcel Reif commentator legend for decades, and the brother of German national defender Mats Hummels, Jonas.

The match prediction given by the ‘sport experts’ were 3:2 (Hummels), 1:0 (Reif) and even 3:0 (Buschmann) … all in favor to Romania. No brainy mentioned what, if, in one in a million, what if the Albanian National Team would win tonight. No, this possibility was simply not there. Strange, especially after the excellent performance of the Albanian Team against France, in Marseille last week.

What was there instead was a laughter, a touch of sarcasm underlying their commentaries. On top of that „A Social Media Genius’’ analyzing the web started ironizing the birthday party of the Albanian coach Gianni De Biasi. The Albanian team has prepared a birthday cake for their beloved coach. De Biasi gave a thank you speech in Italian which was more of a motivating speech of how proud he was for his team’s success. Captain Cana translated shortly the substance of the speech.


The laughter of the brainies questioned the communication between De Biasi and Albanian team with such short translation. In other words: Imagine how do they work together if they don’t understand each other. What they failed to mention – or to know –, though, is that almost every young Albanian speaks or at least understands very well the Italian language.

Maybe with a little research they could have found out that the young generation of Albanians is raised watching Italian TV shows, Italian movies, songs, etc.  Speaking Italian is for most Albanians of my age not an achievement, but a natural know-how.  Not to mention here that many Albanian football players play or have played for Italian clubs.

That implies also for the De Biasi team. The language barrier between the trainer might be there only for few players. Not to mention that De Biasi speaks impressively well Albanian, holds a double citizenship Albanian and Italian, and takes active part in the Albanian life, like at this local comedy show, Portokalli.

Ok, back to Euro 2016. Sorry brainies for the disappointment. But you got it all wrong. Albanians not only dominated the game against Rumania, but also scored 1:0. And now still have a chance to qualify for the round of 16. Uppppsssss!

The generally known arrogance of Marcel Reif when asked after the victory of Albanians referred to it as nothing else, but as football romance – in other words, people want that losers win, here you have your football romance. But he couldn’t stop there; „The Albanians have won their European championship today, they should celebrate it, we should celebrate it with them, but that’s it“ – in other words let’s not talk about them anymore. As a long-time TV Journalist (Sky) Mr. Reif should have know better and, holding the Swiss citizenship, should be a bit more thankful to Albanians, especially since 2/3 of the Swiss Team in Euro 2016 consists of Albanian players (Shaqiri, Xhaka, Behrami, Mehmeti, Xhemali, Kasami, Tarashaj).


But it didn’t stop there. Aaaaaalbanien!!! Like in constant disbelieve commentator Hansi Küpper emphasized Albania’s name all over the match. First how could they make it to Euro 2016, since they only scored 7 goals, one of which was an auto-goal. Original-Ton: “Die Albaner haben eine bekloppte Qualifikation gespielt, sechs Tore in sieben Spielen – it was actually eight –, davon ein Eigentor durch Armenien. Der armenische Eigentorschütze kann sich also als albanischer Rekordtorschütze fühlen, da kein Albaner mehr als ein Tor geschossen hat .”

Translation: Albania has played a barmy qualification, scoring only six goals in eight games – and one was even an auto-goal by an Armenian player that now can claim to be the record-scorer in the Albanian qualifier since no Albanian scored more than one goal.” It’s hard to image to be more ridiculed in prime-time television than that.

And now that they made it here, they have to score, but how, hm…? The irony continues with the next sentence: „Unvorstellbar, wenn dieses Albanien das Achtelfinale erreichen sollte’’ –  “Unimaginable that THIS Albania will be perhaps in the round of the 16“.


Well, unbelievable THIS Arrogance of Hansi Küpper. From a Euro 2016 commentator, where values such as encouraging teams new to this competition, acknowledging their effort such as tying the former world champions France for 89 minutes, no matter if they will make it or not in the next round should be a standard language. Unfortunately what I felt throughout the whole match was a language of arrogance, lack of positivity, looking forward to the next goal with Schadenfreude.

I support my team, though I am not a football fanatic. This event should be more about inclusion, about fairness, about acknowledging and crediting players and teams  for their effort and performance instead of undermining them. Go Shqipëri!

IMG_4159Albanian and French Fans cheering together in Marseille 🙂 

6 thoughts on “Ignorance or Arrogance? How German Sport Anchors Commented on the Albanian Team at Euro 2016”

  1. So right. Albania has a new generation in soccer as in other fields of activity, with capable and motivated players. Add a savvy Italian soccer fox and the usual 200/100 of patriotic commitment and you have a team that will never go down without a fight. Albania beat my Portugal straight and fair in the first match and richly deserved its place in Euro 2016. In fact, only the Albanians playing for Switzerland were too much for the beloved Kombetar.

    1. I totally agree with your comment Rui 🙂 I couldn’t have put in better words. True, we have to be realistic, that’s our first participation at Euro and we are not the best, but nevertheless the team deserves credit, for its fighting spirit. The French, in their own country were bitting their nails for 89 minutes…Though we lost in the last minute, i think that’s the best match i have seen Albania playing…

  2. Hello Armela,

    I feel sorry for the Albanian people about this disrespectfull behavior from German TV anchors, this is not arrogance or ignorance, this is arrogance and ignorance, just the usual way it has always been with Germans when they national team was flying high like in the 70ies and the 90ies and most recently.

    Have you seen Löw nose picking and other inappropriate behavior on youtube? If that would be my national coach I would pay a little more attention before making public statements about other teams coaches, like the brainies did. I am so glad I watched the last Albanian game on an Italian channel…btw Mr Reif is German, not Swiss.

    1. I wish, I would have done the same as you. Watch the game in an Italian channel…Yes, I saw Löw behavior, they bashed him so hard that he had to go public on TV and apologize for that. I sort of felt sorry for the guy. But that’s typical German. No matter how much you effort you give, they will always make you feel or look small. It’s so deeply rooted in their genes…btw: Mr. Reif is now officially Swiss, born from German & Polish parents has given away his previous German citizenship…

  3. Good article Armela as usual.
    I did watch the last game on an Albanian channel tho thanks to my German boyfriend lol

    1. I watched the game on a German channel thanks to my German husband 🙂 Just kidding. In reality i watched it with e certain degree of curiosity, since I was interested in knowing how they will handle this 😉

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