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Kick off!

Kick off!

The first goal in the history of the Bundesliga became a legend. There are no photos of it, but it was the start of a success story.

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Kick off! Tells the story of the first decade of the German league, of great change and of a taste for life reflected on the pitch.

Dortmund fan Gerd Kolbe travels to the Weser stadium in Bremen. He was only 18 years old when the Bremen Dortmund match kicked off at one minute to five. The cameras were not rolling yet and the photographers were behind the wrong goal. At the same time Uwe Seeler was playing for Hamburg against Preussen Munster. His team did not do better than a one: one draw.

Kick off! Takes both men on a trip back in time to Germany’s footballing youth. Gerd Kolbe is now a historian. He’s the former Dortmund club spokesman and an author. He talks about the beginning of the league and the introduction of professionalism, changes in society and strange derbies played in the fog. And his love for the Beatles. He regards Günther Netzer as the John Lennon of football and Uwe Seeler as the first big icon of Bundesliga history.

Uwe Seeler is as modest as ever. We meet up with the first winner of the golden boot and footballer of the year awards. His story of the 1960s in a Hamburg shirt is the story of a travelling sports articles salesman, of a down to earth family man and a lover of rough and ready music. In 1965 the center forward tore his Achilles tendon in a match against Frankfurt. Seeler talks about his fight to keep his career dreams alive and a sensational return to the national squad. He says his goal against Sweden was the highpoint of his career. It enabled Germany to qualify for the 1966 World Cup in England.

What would have happened without the Bundesliga? Seeler and Kolbe agree that German teams would not have stood a chance in international competition for decades. German clubs are what they are because of the Bundesliga.