Triviela – Beyond Trivia

The Trivela is a Portuguese term to denote the art of kicking the football with the outside of one’s foot. It is used to hide one’s weaker foot and also to suddenly fool the opposition with a wickedly swerving ball from a difficult angle. In Triviela, we will attempt to find some football feats/facts which would make you sit up and take note, like it happens when you see Ricardo Quaresma try these

Saarland Football: A short-lived romance

The Saarland is  currently one of Germany’s sixteen federal states. After World War II,  it came under French occupation as the Saar Protectorate. The Saarland had a national football team representing it between 1950 and 1956 during the French occupation. Following a plebiscite, The Saarland became a part of the Federal republic of Germany and its football association SFB ended its separate FIFA membership. In the period, they played 19 matches, starting with a 5-3 win  against Switzerland in 1950 and ending with a 2-3 loss to The Netherlands in 1955.

Gerhard Siedl, who played for both West Germany and The Saarland (besides having a successful career at FC Bayern Munich) was their most well-known player.  He played 16 matches for The Saarland and scored  four goals. Herbert Martin was the most capped player with 17 international matches for The Saarland team played and scored  six goals, a record he shares with Herbert Binkert.

Left: The Saarland National team in 1950. Right: Germany vs. The Saarland in 1953 in Stuttgart
Left: The Saarland National team in 1950. Right: Germany vs. The Saarland in 1953 in Stuttgart


However, The Saarland’s biggest moment of football glory was participating in the qualifying rounds of the 1954 World Cup, and narrowly  missing out on qualification. They were drawn in the same group as West Germany and Norway. In their first match, they beat Norway (away) 3-2 (with goals from Siedel, Herbert Binkert and Werner Otto) in Oslo. However, they lost their next match (away) 0-3 in Stuttgart and drew 0-0 with Norway (home) at Saarbrucken. In their last match where they played against West Germany at home, they needed to draw level with Germany in terms of points and then proceed to the playoffs. West Germany won 3-1, qualified, and went on to win the World Cup! As a football romantic, I am fascinated to think how different the world football history might have been had The Saarland won their last qualifying match. Who knows, the Mighty Magyars might have won the World Cup and Adidas might never have existed.