Welcome to Schwarz und Weiß, the ultimate website, information resource and news blog dedicated to the Nationalmannschaft – the German national football team… The 2014 World Cup winners!

So, what’s the mission here? Another facts and stats site? Yet another one of those sites full of nostalgic reminiscences and interesting anecdotes about great matches from the past? A chance to indulge in obscure facts and general footballing geekdom with an uniquely Deutsche Geschmack? Or just an opportunity to call Frank “Llama” Rijkaard a number of horrible names?

Well, sort of.

While my initial intention was never been to build a dedicated historical and statistical archive, you will find plenty of what I hope is interesting information across the various sections of the site. For instance while you will be able to find out the names of the officials from all of Germany’s major tournament matches you will not find the full line-up for the friendly against Hungary in 1974 – well, not yet. At present you’d have to check out the official Deutscher Fussball-Bund site for that.

In Schwarz und Weiß you will find a lot of features accompanying the facts and stats, including a number of pretty-looking graphs and charts you will not find elsewhere. You will also get to see photographs and potted histories of all of the shirts worn by the Nationalmannschaft from 1987 to the present day – the project that inspired the creation of this rapidly growing online resource back in the autumn of 2010.

The real work however can be found in the match reports, an ongoing labour of love that has involved watching and rewatching well over a hundred matches. The major difference between who you will read in Schwarz und Weiß and what you will see elsewhere is that everything I have written stems from my being a fan of the Nationalmannschaft: as such you will get to read stories of classic – and some not-so-classic – matches written with little or no journalistic objectivity whatsoever.

Whether it is a gushing review of the second phase win over the Netherlands at Italia ’90, an attack on the geriatric Lothar Matthäus being employed by “Sir” Erich Ribbeck as a sweeper at Euro 2000 or the desperate selection of the one-footed Brazilian-born centre-forward Paolo Roberto Rink, you will only get to read what I thought at the time. So, if your desire is to be regaled by yet another pointlessly flattering article on how mind-bendlingly and pant-wettingly fantastic the Cruyff-inspired Dutch side of 1974 were, this is clearly not the place for you.

That said, I truly believe that healthy bias does not necessarily need to get in the way of the facts – so if there is anything factually inaccurate, please drop me a line or leave a comment to let me know. I should also add that if an an opposing side scores a cracker of a goal I will say so without moaning that Schumacher/Illgner/Köpke/Kahn might have been unlucky/unsighted/unwell.

You will find that this site is probably the first of its kind in that it is an online resource dedicated to the German national football team written entirely in English – though with a smattering of deutsch here and there to retain a certain level of Gemütlichkeit. I’ll no doubt add some sort of glossary so those of you unfamiliar with some of the commonly-used German terms and names can soon know your Elfmeters from your Eckballs and get to know who Der Terrier and Tante Käthe are.

As I alluded to earlier, this website started off as little more than a few pages on my collection of replica Trikots – an idea that was itself fuelled by a rather curious discussion with a work colleague about the rather psychedelic green shirt sported by the Nationalmannschaft in their 1990 semi-final against England. This would then be followed by what some might see as the borderline insane decision to embark on a project where I would find myself doing an in-depth write-up on every final tournament match involving the German team since 1980.

Of course, the monster continued to grow – to the point where I started conducting my own statistical analysis and creating a raft of Excel spreadsheets covering the complete career records of every Nationaltrainer from Jupp Derwall onwards. I honestly have no idea how many people really want to know how many friendly internationals were won in the Derwall era and how the silver haired one’s record compares with that of current Nationaltrainer Joachim Löw, but I am certain that there will be at least one other football stats geek somewhere who will enjoy reading all of this guff as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

A number of pages across the site have comments open so that other fans – that’s you – can share your own memories of particular matches and magical Mannschaft moments. Alternatively, you could just choose to share your opinion on the loud yet curiously attractive USA ’94 “chess board” shirt, Stefan “Stinkefinger” Effenberg’s eye-bleeding peroxide hairdo, the toe-curling Schande of España ’82 or recent glorious triumph in Brazil and the winning of that coveted fourth star.

I will even accept comments and opinions from fans of a certain team that play in a particularly lurid shade of orange – so long as they don’t spit.

If you are that interested, you can find out a little bit more about me, Rick D. Joshua, here. Though I’d just advise you to save five minutes of your life and just get on with having a look at the site.

Viel Spaß!

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