Whether winning or losing, playing with the right spirit comes above all. Over 60 years of the Bundesliga, we’ve seen some remarkable moments of sportsmanship and fair play.
“Penalty for Werder Bremen!” was the call. Or was it? Miroslav Klose quickly made clear that he was not fouled and that sportsmanship must always be at the forefront, even at the expense of a potentially crucial penalty. And it was then no surprise years later when Aaron Hunt repeated the example despite Werder being in trouble at the bottom of the table.
When it comes to the health and wellbeing of everyone at a game, speed is needed. And Saša Kalajdžić was quick to react after two Arminia Bielefeld players clashed heads, sprinting to help bring the stretcher onto the pitch.
It isn’t just on the field where it counts, though. When a photographer slipped trying to capture images of an Union Berlin goal celebration, the players immediately halted their cheers and called for help. You can see those and many more examples of fair play and sportsmanship from the last 60 years in the video at the top.
Referees can also lead the way in taking care of everyone on the pitch and in recent years have temporarily halted games at sunset to allow Muslim players to break their fast during Ramadan and take on some food and drinks.
There was even an example of reciprocal sportsmanship in December 2019 between Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg. When Javi Martínez pulled up injured in a race against Renato Steffen, the Bayern man put the ball out for a corner. Maximilian Arnold didn’t want to benefit from such an incident, so played the ball straight back out. And to thank the Wolves for their fair play, David Alaba hit the ball straight back to them to restart at the other end of the pitch.