For the past couple of years, the Weinelf Germany has spread fear among its opposing teams every now and then but also had to suffer some losses, from which it recovered by proving that they are unbeatable in the "third halftime". This all started in May 2005, right before the wine fair in Munich's Olympia stadion, where a very interesting mix of various people formed a team on the holy field of the soccer national league against the national team of German top chefs:The Weinelf won 3:2. This game very much reminded everyone of the victory in Bern in 1954. Norbert Heine, the former fair and kick organizer, thus decided to build a team that would play regularly - and if possible for a good purpose as well.
After a while, it was obvious that it was not only vintners who were interested in joining the first Weinelf e.V. team. Thus, today's team has more than 60 members, like oenologists, wine salesmen, marketing professionals and even wine journalists. Not all of them are active, but joined for the cause. However, the team's men show a lot of ambition, although most of them are a little on the older side. Some of them have reached their 50s or even 60s, but they are fit on the field.
Of course the team has vintners that are still young and fit and these players show that each time they play their opposing teams. The latter are sometimes even selected players by the Bundestag (who were beat a couple of years ago in Berlin 2:1 in their "away game" ).
There is great teamwork among the "Gusto-alliance" with German top chefs, who organize an indoor tournament each year in November. The last one in 2011 took place in Nuremburg and was won 3:2 by the Weinelf against Swiss chefs. This game was the third challenge cup that was won by the Weinelf. A second team composed of older men even reached the seventh spot out of 8 teams.
The Weinelf has been known to be a team of celebrities from the very start. For instance the former Secretary of Defense, Franz-Josef Jung has been honorary member since the very beginning. The highest director of Campus Geisenheim, Hans Rainer Schultz, is a talented destroyer in the midfield. Norbert Weber, President of the German Viticulture Association, is a very focused member and already looks forward to the coaching camp in Edenkoben from 23 - 25 March.
This camp will give the team a chance to get to know their honorary coach better and get ready for their games. Erich Rutemöller, of the 1945 vintage, used to be the coach for the 1. FC Cologne team, the Bonn SC and Hansa Rostock as well. That was before he started his second career with the German Football Association and assisted as second coach to Erick Ribbeck, Berti Vogts and Rudi Voeller in more than 80 international matches. After that, Rutemöller became top coach of the U20-selection (2003 to 2007).
When he was approached by the Weinelf organizerg and after he absolved a test training in Bingen, he quickly gained interest. He has a very good little helper: Jürgen Fladung, who used to play as goalkeeper in the local SV Wehen-Wiesbaden and who is still a major part of the Weinelf's success nowadays. Fladung used to step in when needed when the former coach, Lothar Böhm could not make it due to medical issues.
Rutemöller is supposed to turn the year 2012 into a very successful one. Besides a trip to Portugal and the game with M. A. Silva's team (Weinelf sponsor), this year's highlights will be the second European Championship of the Wine-national team in the Austrian Burgenland.
Due to personal issues, the Weinelf was not very popular in Hungaria for the first EM.. This year, the opposing teams from Italy, Austria (the neighboring country has been played various times before with different results), Hungaria, Switzerland and Slovenia will have to be the victims to the success of this prepared team. (r.knoll)