Sven Heischkel is barely recognizable on this evening in Nuremberg. His face is completely painted in black, red, and gold. He’s wearing a hat and a wig, a flower necklace around his neck, a flag around his hips – all in Germany’s national colors. The 33 year old from Hof, Germany completes his look with a replica World Cup Trophy in his right hand. “In Brazil, it will be our year,” he says with confidence.
Heischel is one of the more than 50,000 fans who are members of the National Team Fan Club, an association powered by
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Sixteen volunteers are responsible for running the worldwide fan club membership, answering questions, planning trips for away games, and distributing tickets to the club's membership. “Friendships are made through the fan club. I am invited to birthdays, we go to Bundesliga games, and we always meet up to socialize,” says fan club volunteer Uwe Buntrock from Hanover. The 38 year old is a civil servant by day but uses his holidays to manage his club duties. “The away game trip to Moscow with 75 fans from Hanover, the World Cup in South Africa with those legendary games against England and Argentina, the last game at London’s Wembley Stadium – these were all unforgettable moments,” Buntrock says. For him, the community spirit is the nicest thing about the National Team Fan Club. Whether you're normally a Schalke or a Dortmund fan, a Bremen or Hamburg fan, the only team that matters in the club is the national team. “Here we are all united. It is nice to be among like-minded people,” Sven Heischkel says as he raises his mock World Cup trophy to the Nuremberg sky. While the fans dream of victories in Brazil next year, preparations for the World Cup are well underway. While Jogi’s boys prepare themselves for world-class football, the volunteers who run the fan club are doing world-class work to make sure that the fans are prepared.
Many thanks to the National Team Fan Club for the last ten years!