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Das Reboot: How German Football Reinvented Itself and Conquered the World

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,439 ratings  ·  102 reviews
‘Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win’ –Gary Lineker

13 July 2014, World Cup Final, the last ten minutes of extra time: Germany forward Mario Götze, receiving a floated pass from his international teammate André Schürrle, jumps slightly to meet the ball and cushion it with his chest. Landing on his left foot, h
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published September 3rd 2015 by Vintage Digital
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Prasanth Abraham
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I bought Das Reboot an year and a half removed from when I'd sat in my hostel common room watching on disbelievingly as Germany tore Brazil apart, smashing them 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semi final. It seemed incredible, surreal but at the same time, wrong. That was because just prior to the World Cup, I'd read Futebol by Alex Bellos which told me how woven into the Brazilian psyche and culture football was. So, to see them shredded with clinical precision felt like a murder.

I put off reading D
Kerissa Ward
In the days leading up to the 2014 World Cup I made a bold prediction: Germany was going to win. Friends – friends who knew way more than me about international soccer – scoffed. There was no way Germany was going to win. The World Cup was in Brazil, where soccer is bigger than Jesus, and Argentina had the soccer messiah, Lionel Messi. The Cup, they told me, was going back to South America.

A month later, I was too shocked at being right to bother gloating. Especially since I knew nothing about t
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
In Das Reboot Honigstein meticulously chronicles Germany's 10 year rebuild of it's soccer program culminating in their World Cup win in 2014. The best parts of this book are the sections dealing with the games themselves and the behind-the-scenes stuff dealing with the atmosphere surrounding the players. However the reason why this book will probably remain relevant for many years to come is the in-depth interviews with Germany's Youth coaches, and the deep discussion of Germany's Soccer philoso ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: football, nonfiction
Is this book a thunderbastard? That's the question you want answered when reading football books. Des Reboot (2015) by Raphael Honigstein looks at the rejuvenation of the German National team following poor performances in 1998 through to 2004. Honigstein is football journalist who writes for The Guardian and appears on the Football Weekly podcast and provides expertise on the Bundesliga and the German National team.
The book interleaves the rejuvenation of the German National team and the German
Amar Pai
The Germans have a training machine, the Footbonaut , that resembles four batting machines positioned in the middle of every side of a small field. With one second warning, balls are emitted from the machines, and players have to kick them into random quadrants of the field that light up green. The sole goal that decided the 2014 World Cup final final came in overtime, from 22 year old Mario Götze. It was a Footbonaut goal. ...more
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, nonfiction
"You can go through the whole squad and find that almost everybody was struggling with something in Brazil. . . . Individually, there were a million reasons why we wouldn't succeed. But, collectively, we pulled together and helped each other out."

Here's the thing: I don't watch the Bundesliga, and I'm new to rest-of-the-world football. I hoped that this book would have helped me understand the league.

The story of German football is inspiring: players from different leagues and rival teams band
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: soccer/football fans
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Germany went from a declining power in football to a World Cup winner in 16 years. This book shows how that happened. This was an absolute joy to read, but that's coming from a huge DFB fan who has followed them all those years; it was nostalgic and fun to remember all the moments Honigstein refers to as he details the reinvention of German football. ...more
Martin Mulcahey
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
In depth and entertaining view of how Germany rebuilt it's football system with insight from superstars to unheralded coaches who were ahead of their time. Two guest written chapters by national players who did not win world cup was intriguing as well, and gives a good sense of how fine a line there is between runner-up frustration and world glory at the highest level. Was never aware of the hurdles and old guard politics that needed to be overcome, which Honigstein chronicles exceptionally well ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soccer, germany
Not sure I loved the structure of this book, especially at the end -- it flips back and forth between tournaments, and even within tournaments, for no discernable reason. The ending is rather weak and almost makes it seem like Honigstein, one of the most respected writers on German football, wants to remind us that he's in with the big names of fussball -- which also seems to be what he's doing when he lets a player write a brief chapter.

But overall the pace is good, the anecdotes interesting an
Paul Carr
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soccer
Thoroughly enjoyed going behind the scenes of Germany's decade-long soccer revival. As an American, I see the German dedication with a mix of jealousy and pride. The German commitment and creativity is impressive and enviable, and the book's superb access puts you right there along Germany's ascension, for big-picture thinking and detail-oriented planning. Jurgen Klinsmann's role in the rebuilding is particularly fascinating and insightful, since he's currently coaching the U.S. Highly recommend ...more
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly researched and written account of the ten year path to Germany's 2014 World Cup win. Easily the best football related book I've read. ...more
Lee Penney
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading the synopsis, what I was expecting was a chronological run-through of the steps that led to the Germans winning the World Cup in 2014.

The steps are probably covered, but the book’s format means it’s hard to pick them out. We jump around the timeline so often I had difficulty keeping track of where we were. Added to that is a lack of detail about much of what was done.

This is intermingled with quotes of criticism from former football greats and newspapers that, while giving context and sh
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoy Rapha's work online and on podcasts, plus I'm a supporter of Nationalmannschaft, so I'm about as primed a reader as one could be for Das Reboot. Given the book's title, I was expecting a chronicle of the team starting after it finished 7th at the 1998 World Cup. Frame of reference is important because though that was a disappointing result for Germany, many countries would be thrilled. Further, Germany is one of a handful of countries to even qualify for every World Cup (1950 excepted du ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: football
This was an illuminating analysis of how Germany won the 2014 World Cup, looking at the matches themselves in detail interspersed with a brief history of the reforms in German football since 1998, and how they translated onto the pitch, managing to shed new light on matches I'd watched and also reveal what happened behind the scenes.

Although Honigstein is German, this is almost a detached analysis of the national team, but with a true reflection of how various figures were viewed in Germany, suc
Jordon Welle
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
In the light of the failure of the US Men’s National Team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, I heard this book mentioned as a reference by no fewer than 3 or 4 media members to a similar crisis in Germany. This one is really interesting, but I struggled to really get into it due to the almost staccato nature of the chapters (chapters alternate back and forth between how Germany tore their program down and rebuilt it after the 2004 Euros and game logs from the 2014 Cup). The information provided ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soccer-football
Really terrific. I'm amazed how Honigstein manages to pack so much into this book. He highlights each of the essential characters, explores the process by which German football underwent its major reconstruction, and utilizes a nonlinear means of narrative to link all sorts of different threads to the core story. I can only imagine what his outlining must have looked like.

Perhaps most interesting to me was the ways in which conservative traditionalists attempted to sabotage the reformers every s
Aditya Candrasaputra
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: football
Thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to get as close as possible in seeing the behind the scenes of German football through this book. Football has changed, and it is no longer enough to just "go out and play" with a lead player spurring everyone on. It is a game that requires every player and coaches to pick their brain, to start since a young age in order to make split second decisions later on. And this is the story of the German team transforming from a team of old men playing with a sweeper ...more
Martin Smrz
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Expecting something a bit different.

Not enough info about the real changes in German football and too much of the all competitions German football has been participating in. Especially World Championship in Brazil. Almost each game in Brazil had its own chapter and where they were staying, where training, what the media thought, what the players thought, who was substituted etc. This was excessive and this is the reason for the 2*, because a books/memoirs of this sort are written, but here I exp
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A superb account of the groundwork laid by the German FA to restore World Cup glory to the nation. Raphael Honigstein covers a vast range of initiatives with minute detail that all come together in that iconic goal scored by Mario Gotze in the Maracana. From the local academies setup to develop youth football, to SAP's data driven and bite sized personalized insights to players, to the use of the Footbonaut to improve cognitive abilities and reaction time, the book gives us a window into how muc ...more
Kevin Playford
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read into what went on in German football to regain its position in World Soccer. The changes made throughout the whole of the football structure to encourage the development of youth and ensure the talent pool available for the national squad satisfied the national squad requirements.

Think all those in the corridors of power in English football should take a read of this book before the Premier League becomes completely dominated by foreign imports at the expense of the national tea
Jake Cusworth
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're interested in how German football has come back from the death, this is the book for you. A brilliant look at the processes and the effort the German FA put into the overhaul of the youth system, which ended in bringing the world cup back to Germany. Written excellently following the world cup throughout the whole book.

I'm not usually the quickest reader, and have a slightly short attention span, but I read this very quickly. A real credit to Rafa Honigstein to keep my attention for so
Akin O
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Raphael Honigstein provides an incredibly detailed account of how German football reinvented itself both at club and national team level. It’s interesting to see the Swabian connection of high performance coaches and how the country’s nationalization laws strengthened the German talent pool and weakened the Turkish one in one swoop. It’s a really good book and I enjoyed the anecdote about what Herr Rohr contributed to youth development in Germany. Now he’s in Nigeria, maybe the football federati ...more
José García-Herz
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent chronicle

A very well written chronicle that combines the experience of the World Cup with the recent German football history that made the victory possible. It describes very sociological environment and the resistance to change that Germany had to go through to transform the structures of its football. The importance of training and youth coaches and a uniform style among them was key to the continuos success of a football country that was about to go into a very deep crisis. Highly r
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Das Reboot is extremely thorough, meticulously written and it chronicles in great detail the rise, fall and subsequent rebirth of German football at club and international level.

Honigstein does a fantastic job informing the reader, but for me the one thing I could pick fault with was the frequent jumping through the timeline.
Rajath Kumar
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging read; Honigstein's distinct style never flinches. The evolution of German football - technical, tactical and mental - is splendidly described. The time period between 2006-2014 forms the crux of the book. Keeping up with the non-linear narrative can be a challenge, but overlook that kink & you're in for a treat ...more
Hayrettin Şenyurt
Kitabın en az 3-4 yerinde Dünya Kupası 3.'lük maçlarının deyim yerindeyse "yerin dibine geçirilmesi" haksızlık olmuş. Aksine, bence 3.-4.'lük klasman maçları, muhtemelen o turnuvanın en orijinal futbol oynayarak o noktaya gelmiş takım(lar)ını izleme şansı sunan ve genelde kupanın güzel maçlarına sahne olan bir platformdur. ...more
David Macnamara
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: football
Great read, fascinating insight and so easy to get lost in. 6 years after the tournament so memories have faded a little but the insight between the tournament chapters was as engaging as the parts focused on what happened in Brazil.
Graham Findlay
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who would have thought that German football was ever on its knees? The story of the great reboot of German football from Klinsman - to Jochim Lowe is well told and gives you a feel of why we see some of the greatest players of our time all from Germany.

Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible insight

Unprecedented look into a country that is now quite simply light years ahead of the rest of the footballing world.
Jonny Brick
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
German writer kvells about how his country successfully taught its kids how to play, with added immigrant input to get the job done. Best bits are about the rise of scientific knowledge and training. A very good story. What's the German for 'fussball's coming home'? ...more
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Raphael Honigstein is a German journalist and author.

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