Euro 2024: When Koeman wiped his butt with the German jersey

Euro 2024: When Koeman wiped his butt with the German jersey

EM coach of the Netherlands

When Koeman wiped his butt with the German jersey

Status: 12:13 pm | Reading time: 3 minutes

Thousands of Oranje fans celebrate on the Reeperbahn

Thousands of Oranje fans got themselves in the mood before their team’s match against Poland and made Hamburg’s Reeperbahn unsafe. In contrast, it was quiet on the official fan mile in the Hanseatic city, which had to remain closed due to a storm.

The Netherlands will play their opening match of the European Championship against Poland in Hamburg. It was there that Oranje coach Ronald Koeman caused one of the biggest scandals in the tournament’s history 36 years ago in the semi-final against Germany. He still regrets it to this day.

Behavioral researchers assume that people make around 20,000 decisions a day, consciously or unconsciously. There are decisions that are forgotten ten minutes later. Some we don’t even perceive as a choice between options. But then there are also those that stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Ronald Koeman, coach of the Dutch national team, knows this. The 61-year-old was a player 36 years ago and was responsible for one of the defining moments in the history of the European Football Championship. Now he is returning to the place where he made his wrong decision with the Netherlands for the group stage match against Poland (Sunday, 3 p.m., live ticker on in Hamburg.

The European Championship semi-final between Germany and the Netherlands took place in the Volksparkstadion on 21 June 1988. The Dutch won the match 2:1, but Koeman missed the chance to show his greatness as the winner. After the final whistle, the Dutchman grabbed Olaf Thon’s shirt and wiped his bottom with it, clearly visible to everyone. At least that’s what he did. A scandal that Koeman still regrets today.

Ronald Koeman in 1988 with Olaf Thon’s jersey – and a clear gesture

Those: IMAGO/Laci Perenyi

“It was a big mistake and bad of me,” the former libero admitted in an interview with “Sport Bild” shortly before the current tournament. “I’m sorry for that. But it was a long time ago. I don’t want to say anything more about it.”

Thon is not angry with Koeman

The incident further fuelled the rivalry between Germany and the Netherlands, even though Thon himself never made a big deal out of it. “What happened on the pitch afterwards, he only read in the newspaper the next day,” Thon recalled in an interview on the sidelines of the European Championships. “I had already cooled down a bit by then.”

also read

He no longer blames the man who ripped off his shirt. “Koeman knows himself that he made a mistake.” And, he stresses, “I can take something like that much better than if he had kicked my Achilles tendon. That would have been much worse,” says Thon.

Here you will find content from third parties

In order to display embedded content, your revocable consent to the transmission and processing of personal data is necessary, since the providers of the embedded content as third parties require this consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the switch to “on”, you agree to this (revocable at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain personal data to third countries, including the USA, in accordance with Art. 49 (1) (a) GDPR. You can find more information about this at . You can revoke your consent at any time using the switch and via privacy at the bottom of the page.

On Sunday, Koeman will be back on the Hamburg pitch. He has already led the Dutch to the European Championships for a second time, but when the last tournament was postponed due to Corona, he went to FC Barcelona. Now the Oranje face a difficult group.

A win against Poland is almost a must for the Dutch, who will be without the injured Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona) and Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta Bergamo), among others, for the finals. Especially since their opponents will probably have to compete without superstar Robert Lewandowski. After that, Koeman’s team will face France (June 21) and Austria (June 25) in the preliminary round.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *