End of an era – The axed departure is an enormous loss for all of German football GuardianMagazines

Streich is Baden through and through: clear edge, special expression and high authenticity. And more than that, he is a successful person. The now 58-year-old was able to enter international competition several times with SC Freiburg. The descent from the Bundesliga 2015 was resolved within one season by direct promotion. Numerous talents have made it into the first team of the sports club and often also to top clubs in Germany or elsewhere.

When Streich first took up his position, he could count on the fact that he knew the students at the outstanding Freiburg youth academy very well. Over the years, Streich has repeatedly brought talented and sometimes overlooked players to Freiburg, always with the promise that he would make them better.

The system prank

Tactically, his intense football was effective and he also made it comparatively easier for newcomers to integrate into Freiburg’s playing system. Anyone who understood the routes and also met Streich’s demands in terms of intensity and willingness to run could hope for a regular place.

However, the Streich system was also a special one, which led Freiburg to success due to its simplistic approach, but could not be easily copied. That’s why some of Freiburg’s shooting stars literally disappeared elsewhere. Maximilian Philipp, for example, was never able to match his performance from the 2017/18 season.

Over the years there have even been players who, despite a manageable salary, preferred to stay in Freiburg rather than leave the nest they had made. Matthias Ginter, a native of Freiburg and a former top performer, also returned in 2022 – despite other options on the transfer market.

took a stand against social developments

A lot of it had to do with Streich, who embodied the SC way. However, the former midfielder sometimes represented a counterpoint to some players in the club. For example, CFO Oliver Leki was in favor of investors joining the DFL for a long time, while the majority of Freiburg supporters disapproved of such a scenario. Streich himself was enough of a realist to accept the need for financially strong sponsors in professional football, but he did not stand for rampant turbo-capitalism without any barriers or restraints.

Even more important were Streich’s statements on social issues with regard to discrimination, conspiracy theories and the growing presence of anti-democratic forces. No other head coach of a German Bundesliga club took this position to express his disapproval and concern about negative tendencies in German society.

Streich spoke out of conviction and at the same time with the self-image of a person responsible for sport who was, to a certain extent, untouchable. The SC would never have thrown him out the door on their own initiative anyway – and even if they had, Streich would probably have taken his hat broadly and walked away. But as it is, it is a separation “with a very heavy heart,” as Streich put it in a video statement.

Freiburg, a paradise for trainers

He also said that after 29 years – that’s how long he’s been at the club – it was the right time “to let in new energy, new people, new opportunities.” The search for a successor begins, although Freiburg already has experience in finding a man for a difficult inheritance to find. This was once achieved with the installation by Robin Dutt after Volker Finke resigned from office in 2007.

But the demands in the Baden university town have continued to grow in recent years due to the successes under Streich. And Streich’s personality radiated far beyond Freiburg, so that at times he seemed almost as big as the entire club.

His successor could be doomed to failure. The idea of ​​Streich being responsible at another club seems even more difficult. He’s too much of Baden, too of Freiburg and too of SC for that. Unless: He leaves club football. At the DFB A position will become available after the European Championships.

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