After 20 years in professional football, the ex-league player terminated his career with a farewell match in Bielefeld’s Schüco arena. For his send-off Brinkmann had invited back former colleagues from his time in the national league. The Brinkmann team was well worth seeing and was packed with former football stars: Thomas Berthold, Fredi Bobic, “Icke” Häßler, Sergej Barbarez, Marco Rhemer and Uwe Bein came along to give their former colleague a worthy send-off, and the team included a number of professional sportsmen from other disciplines, such as former handball player Stefan Kretzschmar.
The game, against an Arminia Allstars team, was followed from the edge of the pitch by Benno Möhlmann, Uwe Rapolder and Heribert Bruchhagen, who accompanied and moulded Ansgar Brinkmann’s sporting career.
Football experts once predicted that the national league’s enfant terrible would be picked for at least fifty international games: he fulfilled all the requirements for a great career, acquiring the nickname “the White Brazilian” during his active years. Sadly, not a single one transpired. But his brilliant style will continue to be remembered by all connoisseurs of football.
Brinkmann has not forgotten his football skills and his fitness remains remarkable. During the game he offered convincing proof of both. Whenever he got possession of the ball the Schüco arena came alive and a number of deft passes to his teammates demonstrated that he still has the right ‘touch’.
All those involved had a great time on this beautiful Friday evening and as befit the occasion, Brinkmann himself scored two goals. True to style, the game ended with a red card for Brinkmann and the game was abandoned. His voice cracked and he had tears in his eyes as he thanked his fans “for twenty wonderful years of football” before setting out on his lap of honour. Brinkmann plans to donate the proceeds of his farewell match to a club for Arminia’s disabled fans, the “Alm Rollis”.
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