Former world champions Mats Hummels and Lukas Podolski founded the small-field Baller League. Many stars came to the start on Monday in Cologne.
Kevin-Prince Boateng and Christoph Kramer see the new indoor small-field league Baller League as no competition to conventional football. When asked about the slogan “New era of football,” ex-professional Boateng said: “It’s not that drastic.”
Nevertheless, the former star of Borussia Dortmund or AC Milan, who looks after a team in the twelve-team league as a manager, sees a future for the format that started in Cologne on the first matchday. Mats Hummels, who stayed in the background at the start due to illness, is the league president. President Football is another ex-world champion in Lukas Podolski, who was absent from the start because of a training camp with Gornik Zabrze.
Participation of streamers and internet stars
By involving streamers and internet stars, you can “create content for yourself. And if you do it right, stars can also emerge here,” said Boateng. This makes it a good alternative for now. In football it is now “very difficult to watch a game for over 90 minutes. Regardless of whether it is Italy, Spain or wherever.”
Former world champion Kramer, who is still active at Borussia Mönchengladbach and looks after a team as a coach, also “doesn’t believe that this will be a model that competes with classic football. Rather, it’s something that could also become big.” Football once fascinated him “probably in a different way because there was nothing else. But I catch myself doing it: In the past, when there was the Champions League, it was a holiday and you didn’t do anything else. Now you’re on your cell phone and want to “Always new stimuli. Maybe that’s why something like that with two 15 minutes and special rules isn’t so bad after all.”
The fact that other celebrities are also involved, such as streamer Montanablack or entertainer Knossi, is enriching. “I know them all by name,” assured Kramer: “I don’t have Twitch. But Montanablack or Knossi are the Thomas Gottschalk of the boys.”
In the tournament over eleven game days, the celebrities cast teams, including many who narrowly failed to have a professional career. There are also two wild cards per match day, which ex-professionals such as Patrick Ebert and Zvjezdan Misimović used on Monday. In the last three minutes of each half, special rules such as three against three or the ban on back passes apply.
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