A football goal on a dark pitch. An illuminated sign shows BRD - DDR

Massimo Furlan, A Reenactment of the 1974 East Germany West – Germany World Cup Match © Sandra Singh

Massimo Furlan

A Reenactment of the 1974 East Germany – West Germany World Cup Match

Massimo Furlan’s reenactment of the historic 1974 World Cup match between East Germany and West Germany, which ended with an unexpected score of 1:0, will take place not in the stadium but, for the first time, in the street where the wall once stood. This match was all about performing asymmetry and about the surprising victory of the supposedly weaker team – that of the GDR.

It was also the only direct duel between both German teams to ever take place during a World Cup. As both teams had already qualified, this was above all a political clash between two countries that had only recently recognised each other. The game was a confrontation of strength and weakness, of arrogance and underestimation, and it highlighted unconscious dividing lines. Based on these aspects, the performance asks where the lines of asymmetry lie today, in politics, in sport and in everyday life. Furlan’s work also sheds light on the situation of women and queerness in football. 

Only two players act out the game and imitate the players’ movements: Massimo Furlan himself as Sepp Maier, and the football player, activist for women’s football and former player for 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam Tanja Walther-Ahrens as Jürgen Sparwasser. Two original radio commentaries accompany the match, and the audience can switch back and forth between these parallel realities in East and West.

This performance is a celebration of imagination. The idea came from the shattered dream of a young boy who failed to become a famous football player. Many children around the world are experiencing the same story, especially as football gets more commercialised. Massimo Furlan shifted his aspirations to art. As a choreographer, he re-enacted the movements of Michel Platini at the Parc des Princes, those of Zbigniew Boniek in Warsaw or Sepp Maier in Munich Olympiastadion. In art dreams come true. 

Do you know the story? Listen to it again.

Massimo Furlan is a choreographer, actor, performer and writer based in Lausanne who often explores the links between competitive and free play.

Tanja Walther-Ahrens is a former German Bundesliga player, special education teacher, sports scientist and activist. Today, she is still a passionate footballer in the Berlin state league with SV Seitenwechsel.