Dhe joke of the day in the hallways of the Römer was quickly told: Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD) couldn’t steal a trophy because the German soccer players had lost the final of the European Championship against England. The mayor is on vacation anyway and left the head of sports department Mike Josef (SPD) the honor of welcoming the European Championship runners-up.
Josef completed the task discreetly and reservedly, demonstratively letting the players and national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg go first, but also showing the necessary enthusiasm of the football fan. “One game was lost, but the German national players are still winners of the European Championship. You just showed damn good football,” he said: “Thank you for showing team spirit, fighting spirit, fair play and living out values that football sometimes seems to have lost.”
Birgit Prinz extends the record
An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 fans, an increase compared to the public viewing in the stadium the day before, supported Josef’s words with their presence on the Römerberg and cheered the runners-up at the European Championships, who for the first time after five celebrated title wins at world and European championships there also without a trophy on the balcony of the Kaisersaal. Before that, they signed the Golden Book. Team psychologist Birgit Prinz, once multiple world footballer, expanded her record.
No one should have put his autograph in this honorable book more often than the active two-time world, six-time European and four-time European Cup winner during her sports career in Frankfurt, who has probably signed a good dozen times by now. “I can’t say exactly, but it’s happened many times,” joked Prince. With FFC Frankfurt she was always allowed to register if the club had won at least the double or the European Cup, with the national team at receptions after four title wins.
National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg admitted, despite all the enthusiasm around the team, that the defeat was still very painful. “We wanted to be European champions,” she said: “If our great performances have helped us win people’s hearts, then we’re happy to win hearts.”