Great teams, exciting goals, and the crowning title: since last Thursday everyone’s eyes are focused on the ball; and today the German National Team will have its tournament debut, playing against Portugal. Team manager, Oliver Bierhoff, and his Leica X Vario are on hand, sharing exclusive glimpses of the national team as they live each day in Brazil.
Born in Karlsruhe, Bierhoff has achieved virtually everything he could during his active football career. He first came into the German national league in 1986, but it was in the Italian league that he achieved his major break-through. Ten years later the striker made it into the German National Team and the squad that played in the 1996 European Cup. In the final against the Czech Republic, it was Bierhoff who shot the equalizing goal, followed by the first golden goal during extra time in Germany’s tournament history, ensuring his team’s victory and granting them the title. His club career continued in the Italian A series, where he was top goal scorer in 1998, and in 1999 he became champion with AC Milan. In honour of his achievements, Bierhoff was elected footballer of the year in Germany.
After the 2002 World Cup and the final against Brazil, Bierhoff said farewell to the German National Team and a year later ended his career as an active player. Since 2004 he is the manager of the German National Team – a function he is now fulfilling at the World Cup in Brazil. In addition to football, photography also plays an important role in his life.
“I loved photography even as a youngster. My first pictures were taken with my father’s 1962 Leica M2. Of course, they weren’t particularly good. At the time I also developed and printed in black-and-white. Nowadays photography allows me to easily capture certain moments. Photos are always part of my life. Despite digital photography, I try not to be too inflationary in my approach to photography. In our family I’m the photographer for every occasion – simple or fancy.”
At the German World Cup quarters, Bierhoff continues to play this role – like when he went to check out the team’s resort at Campo Bahia. Since then, construction has been completed and the German World Cup delegation was able to move in and begin preparing itself for the first game against Portugal. Bem vindo ao Brasil!

The chief of the Pataxó and his wife visit the German World Cup quarters. The Pataxó are one of Brazil’s indigenous tribes who mostly live in the Porto Seguro Reserve in the State of Bahia.

A flying visit to the construction site of the German World Cup quarters. Of the 32 World Cup teams, Germany is the only one not to occupy existing premises

The German National Team’s World Cup quarters are close to the idyllic fishing village of Santo André in the north of the State of Bahia, which also gives the camp its name.

In Campo Bahia the players have good conditions in which to train in, as well as a tasteful setting for relaxing.

Hard work was put into working on the German World Cup quarters right up until the last moment.

Per Mertesacker, Ron-Robert Zieler, Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski at a team event aboard the boat of South African extreme sportsman Mike Horn.

National trainer Jogi Löw on the ferry in Santo André on the way to Campo Bahia.

Waiting for the kickoff: Germany’s first 2014 World Cup game will be played against Portugal.
– Katrin Iwanczuk
Katrin Iwanczuk is the editor of LFI.