The German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball Bund - DFB) played its first match as a formal national team on April 5, 1908, against Switzerland in Basel, which the Swiss won 5–3. In contrast, the newly-independent Ukraine played its first match against Hungary on April 29, 1992, in Uzhhorod.

Germany chose to play its 1,000th international game against Ukraine, at the Weserstadion in Bremen which kicked off at 19:00 Kyiv time. The match, which was billed as a friendly, charity game, turned out to be a competitive affair, with Ukraine threatening to upset their illustrious opponents as they led up until the 90th minute. In the end a 3 -3 draw was probably a fair reflection of the game.

UFA Twitter Poster

However, for Ukraine and all involved the match had a significance that goes far beyond sport. As the DFB web-site stated, Ukraine was selected as the opponent for this milestone game “as a sign of solidarity with the invaded country. Football should give Ukraine back faith in the future.”


This was actually Ukraine’s 300th game and was the first managed by Serhiy Rebrov who only took over as the international manager on June 7. He will undoubtedly be satisfied with his team’s performance, if a little disappointed in the final result.

The occasion was used to raise funds in support of wounded Ukrainian soldiers in a display organized by “РестоVратор. Картопляні Війська” [“Restorator. Potato Troops”], the brainchild of two journalists, Leonid Veselkov and Nikolay Vasilkov, and the artist Andriy Yarmolenko.

A large banner showing the image of a leopard on the back of which is a small boy was displayed in the main stand before the match. With this symbol, Ukrainians thanked the German government for the Leopard tanks and other military assistance that has been provided since Russia’s full-scale invasion

The Ukrainian fans were posting a collective slogan "Tankeshon" (a play on the German word for thank you - Danke schön), and while many wore national football shirts a number of fans wore T-shirts with the logo and handed out bracelets and badges with Ukrainian symbols to German spectators.


Ukrainian supporters also held a raffle, to raise additional funds for the charity, the prize for which was a football signed by the three Ukrainian winners of UEFA’s Ballon d'Or: Oleh Blokhin, Ihor Bielanov and Andriy Shevchenko.

For those who are interested here is a match summary:



3     -     3





Niclas Füllkrug - 6’


Viktor Tsyhankov – 18’, 56’

Kai Havertz – 83’


Antonio Rüdiger – 23’ (own goal)

Joshua Kimmich 90+1’




To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter