UN ESTATE ITALIANA
Pairing: Matthaeus/Klinsmann, Klinsmann/Voeller
Rating: R, just to be sure
Time: WC 1990
Disclaimer: Not true
Summary: World Cup 1990. Part two - group stage
German team started the tournament better than the previous two, beating the strong Yugoslavians in the opening match (“Chronicles of German football”)
They enter the field of the familiar “San Siro”, but it seems that it is a different stadium. Instead of blue-black banners the flags of two countries are flying over the tribunes – blue-white-red colors of
Football is his life. There is nothing more important for him than his career. Not because of fame – though he enjoys being popular, not because of money – though he never forgets about material things, but because he can’t imagine himself without the game. Here, on the field of the filled stadium, he can be as open as never, here he doesn’t need to try to be better as he is, here the miracles are possible, and here he – the dispatcher of the team – is leading the game.
He sees the whole field before him. He sees Jürgen – as if all spotlights are directed on him, and he forces himself to turn away, to stop looking. He sees Rudi running back and forth at his wing. He turns back to look at the defenders – these three are doing well so far. Even without looking he knows where the goalkeeper is. He sees the players of the other team – it’s almost as if the tactical scheme is lying in front of him with the dots instead of players, and it is do easy – to see a free space in the opponents’ defense and make a pass just there.
“It’s your World Cup”, said Franz, and he knows that it will be.
At least the first goal is his. Nobody is trying to hold back while on the field, and things that could raise questions in everyday life seem normal here. And when he embraces Jürgen, he knows that nobody will see anything wrong in it.
He smiles. It’s hard to imagine the better start of the tournament.
- I dare you to score in empty goal from five meters distance, - Franz says it in absolutely serious tone.
- In empty goal? No, we can’t, - Rudi is always quick to answer, everyone still remembers the scandal after his words about Paul Breitner. – Now if there’ll be a goalkeeper and three defenders – then no problem.
Today they are training the shots at goal. On the other side of the field Littbarski, Möller and Hässler are tormenting poor Köpke, attempting a free kicks. Others are gathered here, in front of the other goal.
- Receive a pass, two touches and then shoot. Those who don’t score will be gathering the equipment after the training.
- Well, it won’t take them long if the whole team will be doing it, - laughs Illgner taking his place between the posts.
- This empty goal is talking too much today, - retorts Rudi. – Lothar, you’re the dispatcher here, so go on.
He puts the ball into place, and at the moment Rudi starts a run-up gives him a pass. Two touches, a simple trick, and the ball is in the right upper corner.
- Oh well, not the whole team, - smiles Bodo, standing up again. Everyone laughs. Berthold starts the run-up, another pass, two touches, the ball goes in. Jürgen is at the other corner of the penalty area, again pass, two touches, goalkeeper is almost at the ball but the kick was too powerful.
- Are you mocking? – Murmurs Bodo, raising from the grass. – I suggest we try penalties instead, it’s less humiliating.
- Looks like goalkeepers will be gathering the equipment today, - remarks Sepp Maier. They all laugh again. Brehme is running up, and the ball goes in again.
- And I’m not talking anymore with all of you, - Bodo makes a face. Stefan Reuter shoots at goal and scores too. The fun continues.
“Italian Germans continue to give gas!” (“Tuttosport”)
Rudi raises his hands. His second goal in this match, fifth for the team. Second victory with a big score, and it means that they are in the knock-out stage already, though it’s still unknown who will be the opponent. In the locker room everyone is congratulating Uwe Bein – not because he played better than anyone else, but because he is the only player who is playing in Bundesliga who scored in the tournament so far. “Italians” are in the center of attention. He and Andy have three goals each, Jürgen has two.
- “San Siro” is a good stadium, - smiles Berti, moving past him.
- Not bad, - smiles he back.
Next day morning training session is canceled for the first time, but they are still up at ten. There is no getting rid of tactical lessons, even though it is unbelievably boring. In the game everything is decided in seconds and there is no time to think about tactical schemes. But still they have to listen to Holger Osiek explaining them how Columbians are playing. Some people in back rows are doing their best to pretend they are not falling asleep.
This evening they are training penalties for the first time at the tournament. He scores ten out of ten.
After dinner they are leaving the restaurant together. Two weeks have gone by since they are in
He is looking at Jürgen – he is always looking at him, he’s got used to it too. Klaus hits himself on the head and runs back to retrieve the jacket he’s forgotten, they are left to wait near the staircase.
- I suggest a very interesting and original program for the evening, - declares Andy.
Jürgen turns away with a smile, he clearly hasn’t bought it. Buy Hässler believed.
- What program?
- Playing cards in our room!
Icke makes a face, and others start laughing like mad.
- What’s wrong? - Andy does his best to sound offended, and it only increases the fun.
Sepp Maier who is going past them looks at them like at madmen and smiles.
Klaus, now with the jacket, looks at them the same way as Sepp did the minute before.
- Did I miss something?
- Not at all. – It’s all Andy can do to keep a serious look. – I suggested we go and play cards, and these… - He gestures at the still laughing company.
- And where’s the joke?
- Nowhere. Let’s go?
- Let’s go, - he manages to stop laughing finally. – Jürgen, are you with us?
And, as expected, instead of answering Jürgen turns to Rudi.
- Are we with them?
- And how do you think? – Smiles Rudi at his partner.
- Or better to finish?
- And when?
- Are you sure?
- Right now.
Jürgen turns to him.
- We’re not with you. We have a chess match to finish.
- And if you finish it tomorrow?
- Tomorrow we’ll be finishing the match we’ll start today, - Rudi starts up the stairs.
- And us? – Moan others.
- And you are going to play cards, - and Jürgen runs up the stairs to Rudi, laughing, puts the hand on Rudi’s shoulder and starts talking about something.
This evening he can’t concentrate on the game. He makes silly mistakes, loses three games in a row, gives out-of-place answers and is silent most of the time. And Andy is asking already is something is wrong with him. He knows that he is looking ridiculous and it makes him angry.
Anger is what saves him in such moments. His fear of being ridiculous makes him come to his senses, he starts taking part in conversation, but his thoughts always return to the same scene – Jürgen bending down to Rudi, whispering something in his ear. He’d like to distract himself, but the image is imprinted in his memory - two young men standing so close together, like two silhouettes in the rays of a setting sun.
German teams gets only a draw against the technically superb Columbians, but still reaches the top sixteen as the winner of group D (“Chronicles of German football”)
And again “San Siro”, and black-red-golden flags instead of blue-black, and it doesn’t seem strange anymore. They get a goal in ninety-second minute, such a silly mistake, but it doesn’t affect anything, they are staying in
Jürgen embraces him by the shoulders, unbuttoning his shirt at the same time. Everything that is going on between them is quick, passionate, furious, and the danger of being caught every second just adds up to the sensations.
Sometimes he wonders where did Jürgen learn everything he does, but he doesn’t want to ask. He kisses his lover, coping with the buckle of his belt. The pillow flies from the bed, Jürgen embraces him more tightly, answering to the kiss.
It is even a bit strange that sex for them didn’t turn into a struggle for dominance. They let each other lead easily, depending on the mood, without seeing anything humiliating in it. They are simply giving each other pleasure, and it works.
Knocking at the door makes them freeze. Jürgen puts a hand over his mouth. The main thing now is to keep silent, because every loud sound can be heard through the door.
The knocking repeats.
- Nobody here. And where should I look for this Brehme?
- Maybe in restaurant?
- Was there already.
The voices move away. Jürgen exhales with a smile, and then thrusts his hips forward in a quick movement, again, again, and he explodes in orgasm, biting his lips to stifle the moans. Jürgen breathes out something, kissing his shoulder. What they are doing is dangerous – but they knew it from the start.
- If they… find Andy now… and come here… - Jürgen is trying to catch his breath.
- It’ll be interesting.
They force themselves to stand up and go shower. When in ten minutes the door opens and a big company bursts into the room, they are sitting on Lothar’s bed playing cards, and by their looks nobody could have guessed what was going on here just minutes ago.
It’s the third time in two weeks I see Jürgen sitting alone with Lothar.
No, I understand that they are the teammates. And everything could happen…
But it’s still curious.
I just don’t remember if Jürgen ever changed his opinion about someone, especially for the better.
There’s one fault in Jürgen – he judges people too quickly. And rarely misses the point by the way. And if I remember correctly, last summer Lothar got a big label written in big bold letters – “traitor”.
And now look at it. Sitting here together playing cards.
No, I don’t have anything against it. It’s just not like Jürgen at all.
And the main thing – Lothar apparently didn’t do anything to change Jürgen’s opinion…
All right, maybe I simply don’t know something.
But it’s curious all the same.
He tries to understand what he’s found in Jürgen. He haven’t thought about it earlier, but now, lying in the dark and listening to Andy’s even breathing he starts asking himself this question. Strange, why now of all times. Sleep isn’t coming, and he keeps asking himself the same question. And realizes that he doesn’t know the answer.
Jürgen is beautiful, he is used to this thought. Is he? He’s had lovers with much more stunning appearances. Golden hair, blue eyes, a smile, always a smile on these lips – it’s not beauty. It’s… Jürgen never was too handsome, probably won’t ever be, but he is sure that he hasn’t seen in his life anything more perfect than this face. The word “enchantment” fits here best. Enchantment, sorcery – but where?
Jürgen. Strange combination of passion and coldness, combination that annoys because it is impossible to understand. Jürgen himself is impossible to understand, he is like a charade where the needed word is impossible to compose even if all parts are guessed correctly. Clever – behaves sometimes like a child. Always controlled – the heart of every company. Careful with strangers – always smiling. Able to be cruel – always ready to help. He is impossible to explain, impossible to understand, and it doesn’t fit in his world, and he should dislike Jürgen, but he is lying here, the whole night long, thinking about him. And asking himself over and over – why, why, why… And is unable to find the answer.