Perhaps one of the many reasons why football is heralded as the king of all sports is the fact that surprises are plentiful and come in many shapes and sizes.
In this instance, nothing could be said of the lowly yet mighty SC Paderborn, who despite having an average attendance of just 15,000 and less than €10 million to their names are taking the Bundesliga by storm in only their first season in the German top flight.
Paderborn, who less than ten years ago were playing outside the German professional spectrum, are set on a collision course of going against everything said by them at the beginning of the season and causing football fans from all over the world to stand in awe.
Top of the Bundesliga against all the odds
It wouldn't take a clairvoyant to point out that Paderborn were odds on favourites to be relegated come May in their first season back in the big time, with some bookmakers even accepting bets for the nippy minnows to be eliminated well before Easter eggs hit stores across Germany.
Indeed, even the most optimistic of Paderborn fans would have told you that their teams’ ability to finish the season above twenty points would be a tall order and that the Blues and Whites would struggle from the off.
Just under a month later and with eight points to their name and sitting quite comfortably and unexpectedly ahead of the mighty Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table, they now seem the team to beat.
Hannover win keeps the good times going
To say that the Benteler Arena outfit are not full of confidence having secured two wins and two draws in their first ever top flight campaign is nothing short of an understatement and perhaps their intention could best be measured in yesterday’s 2-0 victory at home against Hannover yesterday.
Moritz Stoppelkamp’s sensational and quite bonkers 83 minute metre shot which somehow crept into an empty Hannover net set a record for the furthest goal recorded in the history of the Bundesliga, and quite literally caused a welcomed uproar on social media sites.
To put it frankly, Paderborn are not afraid of anyone and anything whether that be expectations, reality or indeed the mighty Bayern Munich and this is the attitude which manager Andre Breitenreiter has beaten into his players.
Breitenreiter shining on the big stage
The 40-year-old manager, who just like many of his players is experiencing the top flight of German football for the very first time, would have no doubt seen what had happened with Hamburg last season, and what the effects of bad management and negativity have on a football team.
Hamburg, for all their wealth, history and Bundesliga pedigree were on the verge of suffering their first relegation from the top of German football, as they managed to beat second division side Greuther Fϋrth over two legs in a fiercely contested relegation play-off fixture.
Indeed, if Paderborn are able to boast the fact of sitting at the top of the league of the World Champions with a squad worth £51 million less than Hamburg then then five times Bundesliga winners should have won the previous campaign by a country mile.
Perhaps even more refreshing about this electrifying Paderborn side who currently know no limits is the fact that they have a manager who is able to get the refine the most crucial ingredient out of his budget side, passion and a love for football.
Munich test should hold no fears
Next up for the North Rhine-Westphalia outfit is a glamorous trip to the home of Bayern Munich, the magnificent Allianz Arena, a trip which could quite literally leave Paderborn players in tears as they fulfil one of their professional ambitions, to play infront of 70,000 fans.
Whilst the majority of Bayern players will no doubt be more concerned about putting in a good performance in order to pick up their multi-thousand euro pay-cheque and to avoid the wrath of Pep Guardiola, every single Paderborn player would be more humbled by the occasion.
To them, it’s not a matter of picking up their pay cheque but more to the point of playing for their club, their families and their manager whose only wish is that his players prove to everyone associated with German football that they deserve their first tier status.
Following growing after amazing start
For what I am about to say is both blasphemous, both in terms of my professional career as an aspiring journalist and as a devoted Bayern Munich fan, in the sense that I wouldn't be too disheartened to see Paderborn beat my beloved FCB.
Stories such a SC Paderborn’s are few and far between these days and if they were to beat a Bayern team who seem to be heading in the same direction as Hamburg, not in terms of relegation but attitude, I can see the Blue and Whites creating a meltdown within the German media.
In such that the Bundesliga despite being one of the most heavily watched and talked about leagues in the world is not all about Class A professionals and their extravagant clubs and lives, but indeed small community orientated clubs which breathe vintage football.
For one, I happily join a cult of SC Paderborn fans the world over who are currently sporting the biggest grin known to man, whilst journalist desperately try to cover up their previous negative judgements on a club which is making top news in Germany.
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