It was during the 2006 World Cup that people around the globe got to see Germany in a new light. The sun shone for weeks from an almost cloudless sky, the country’s population was in a joyful party mood and the Germany team played wonderfully, yet ultimately without success – if you’re minded, that is, to regard third place in a World Cup on home soil as a lack of success.
In short, the Germans, their weather and their footballers behaved completely opposite to the way they’re often said to behave. And nothing fitted better into the easy-going mood of this summer fairytale than “Schweini and Poldi” with their boyish charm. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski: the magic of 2006 made them appear heroes of a new, uninhibited Germany, like two playground pals in football heaven”