“There’s only one white Brazilian, and his name is Ansgar Brinkmann”, Bernd Schneider mutters into the microphones of the press during a press conference. The press had taken to call Schneider by that name after his brilliant performance in the 2002 World Cup final, but for him and most German football fans there was only one street footballer left out there who deserved that nickname. Brinkmann’s tricks, his off pitch antics and the fact that he fell out with pretty much every coach made Ansgar Brinkmann a legend. At times he could bewitch an entire nation with his talent, at other times he was utterly useless and annoying his coaches.
The legends and stories that have been told about Brinkmann could fill several books. After all, a guy who has played for 15 different clubs during a career that lasted 20 years might have some baggage. 316 matches in the Bundesliga 2 and 59 matches in the Bundesliga tells a story of a player who may have been slightly less talented than the average Bundesliga player, but don’t be fooled, Brinkmann brought something extraordinary to the pitch. Both Leverkusen’s former manager Rainer Calmund and former national team coach Berti Vogts have stated that the cheeky midfielder possessed the talent to be capped 50 times for Germany’s national team. However, the fact that Brinkmann was followed by a reputation as an enfant terrible and his tendency to have his own head meant that none of the big clubs ever were going to take the chance of signing him.
So without any further ado, here are Writing Fussball’s five favourite anecdotes about Ansgar Brinkmann.
1. He might have had the talent to play for the national team, but he never reached further than the German army’s national team. One of the call ups to this rather special team included a trip to Ukraine. After the match the hosts invited the German team to a soiree. On the table there were many bottles of Vodka. After a few good sips of liquor Brinkmann found that it was time to get the party started. At first he took his shirt off, then he went to the drum set standing in the room and started playing it as best he could.
At that point the colonel supervising the trip stepped up and told Brinkmann that it was time to leave. The player was unimpressed, yelling “Captain Kirk, I don’t know what you are doing, but I’m playing the drums.” However, after a little while the colonel managed to get Brinkmann out of the room. Outside of the building Brinkmann managed to roll onto a diplomat’s car before he sprinted towards the team bus.
Back at Mainz manager Christian Heidel informed his player that he had been charged with 10 different counts of damaging property. However, the army had acquitted Brinkmann of all counts. Their reasoning? None of the players present had brought any alcohol to the table, so they couldn’t be hold responsible for their actions under the influence.
2. Brinkmann was part of Tennis Borussia Berlin’s short lived spell in the Bundesliga 2. During the 1999/2000 season the talented attacker played for the club that had the ambition to become a permanent fixture on the national stage. However, as happened so many times, Brinkmann managed to fall out with his coach. During one training session the white Brazilian muttered to Winnie Schäfer: “Our coach couldn’t even organise a small store.”
3. Brinkmann has stated several times that he never was much of a drinker, but that he drank a lot when he first got started. One these times occurred during his time at VfL Osnabrück. After staying out until half past three in the morning the midfielder decided to take his car back home. Unluckily for Brinkmann he was stopped by the police at a junction. When asked if had been drinking he said no, but somehow he ended up in the back of the police after all.
As the police were driving his car to the side of the road to clear the junction Brinkmann managed to pull open the window of the police and he ran away. In the end he managed to hide from the cops under the roof of a garage. “I would have never been able to do this whilst being sober”, Brinkmann told Bild in 2011.
4. After ending up in the emergency room due to unbearable pain during his days at Eintracht Frankfurt, Brinkmann was handed some pretty strong painkillers. However, even those didn’t help to make the pain go away, so the white Brazilian made his way down to a pub to get some booze. Jack Daniels, there isn’t any better painkiller after all Brinkmann thought to himself. During his stay Brinkmann chose to step outside for a while and cross the road.
As coincidence would have it, the passengers of the car were his teammates Jan Åge Fjørtoft and Thomas Sobotzik and their wives. After hitting Brinkmann the car continued for a little while before his two teammates came to their senses and stopped. They were both relieved to see that Brinkmann was all right, but Sobotzik was wondering what his injured teammate was doing out and about at around midnight. Brinkmann’s answer:
“I’ve got an appointment with Jack. Jack Daniels. He’s over there in that bar. And I’m going in now.”
5. After drinking a mix of pretty much everything the night before FC Gütersloh Christmas party, the white Brazilian and a few of his teammates went downtown. When Brinkmann spotted a few waiting taxis he took off his shirt and started one of his career’s most impressive sprints. At first he jumped up on a cab, barely managing to stay on his feet, and then he continued his sprint on top of the roofs of 7-8 more taxis, finishing it off with a forward roll.
What a finish he thought to himself, showing off his biceps to the cab drivers. “Oh, it’s just Ansgar they muttered”, according to Brinkmann. The night wasn’t over though. After his taxi stunt Brinkmann threw a flower bucket through a shop window. Afterwards he kicked in the window of a furniture store, using the new found entry point to get to a bed to take a quick power nap. Brinkmann ended the night in a brothel causing a stir there by going on a bit of rampage.
The total damage of the night came to a whopping 25,000 DM. When the Gütersloh officials called Brinkmann to confront him about his behavior the following afternoon the midfielder smirkingly muttered:”Just wait, the Christmas party is coming up tonight.”