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WATCH: English fans turn downtown Dortmund into huge football pitch

English fans played an impromptu football game in the Old Market Square in Dortmund on Tuesday - and they went ballistic when one of them scored a goal.

WATCH: English fans turn downtown Dortmund into huge football pitch
An England fan in Berlin in 2006. Photo: DPA

England fans staged their street football match ahead of England's game against Germany on Wednesday evening. 

The video shows the square cleared with chairs from local restaurants set out as goal posts, and fans can be heard chanting and singing.

Fans are seen storming the “pitch,” singing and dancing after one of the participants scores a goal. Other fans can be seen throwing glasses into the air which smash on the paving stones near some of the supporters.

On Tuesday evening, police in Düsseldorf were confronted by the first signs of trouble from English fans, Ruhr Nachrichten reports.

About 700 English fans had met in the alleys and bars of the city centre to drink together. Police stepped in to send some aggressive fans away, but had bottles thrown at them by the crowd. Two people were taken into custody.

On the same evening 37 German gang-members were also stopped at the edge of the Düsseldorf old city, reportedly on their way to fight the English fans. They were all taken into custody by police. 

Dortmund police have also increased security ahead of the friendly international due to previous experience of riotous English hooligans.

“We have more officers on duty than for a game against Spain or Jamaica for example,” police spokesman Gunnar Wortmann told DPA on Tuesday. 

There have already been significantly more police deployed in the city in preparation for the game, with many assigned to train stations and inside trains around the city.

The biggest police presence, however, will be around the city centre and the stadium. A police spokeswoman refused to disclose to The Local how many police were on the streets, but said that they will “react to the continuous assessments of the situation with appropriate force.”

The spokeswoman also said that Dortmund police have had previous experience with English football fans when club supporters have travelled to the city for European games. 

“English football fans are a celebratory people, who do not say no to alcohol,” she added.

But she also noted that “as long as everything stays peaceful, we won't hold fans back from celebrating.”

The traditional rivalry between English and German fans has caused clashes before, and German police have prepared for hooliganism from the English at previous games too. 

English fans garner lots of respect from hooligans around Europe, having been famous for riotous and destructive behaviour in the 1970s and 80s. Many German hooligans even still say they admire English fans.

With DPA

FOOTBALL

Putellas becomes second Spanish footballer in history to win Ballon d’Or

Alexia Putellas of Barcelona and Spain won the women's Ballon d'Or prize on Monday, becoming only the second Spanish-born footballer in history to be considered the best in the world, and claiming a win for Spain after a 61-year wait.

FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award.
FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award. Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Putellas is the third winner of the prize, following in the footsteps of Ada Hegerberg, who won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, and United States World Cup star Megan Rapinoe, winner in 2019.

Putellas captained Barcelona to victory in this year’s Champions League, scoring a penalty in the final as her side hammered Chelsea 4-0 in Gothenburg.

She also won a Spanish league and cup double with Barca, the club she joined as a teenager in 2012, and helped her country qualify for the upcoming Women’s Euro in England.

Her Barcelona and Spain teammate Jennifer Hermoso finished second in the voting, with Sam Kerr of Chelsea and Australia coming in third.

It completes an awards double for Putellas, who in August was named player of the year by European football’s governing body UEFA.

But it’s also a huge win for Spain as it’s the first time in 61 years that a Spanish footballer – male or female – is crowned the world’s best footballer of the year, and only the second time in history a Spaniard wins the Ballon d’Or. 

Former Spanish midfielder Luis Suárez (not the ex Liverpool and Barça player now at Atlético) was the only Spanish-born footballer to win the award in 1960 while at Inter Milan. Argentinian-born Alfredo Di Stefano, the Real Madrid star who took up Spanish citizenship, also won it in 1959.

Who is Alexia Putellas?

Alexia Putellas grew up dreaming of playing for Barcelona and after clinching the treble of league, cup and Champions League last season, her status as a women’s footballing icon was underlined as she claimed the Ballon d’Or on Monday.

Unlike the men’s side, Barca’s women swept the board last term with the 27-year-old, who wears “Alexia” on the back of her shirt, at the forefront, months before Lionel Messi’s emotional departure.

Attacker Putellas, who turns 28 in February, spent her childhood less than an hour’s car journey from the Camp Nou and she made her first trip to the ground from her hometown of Mollet del Valles, for the Barcelona derby on January 6, 2000.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas (R) vies with VfL Wolfsburg's German defender Kathrin Hendrich
Putellas plays as a striker for Barça and Spain. GABRIEL BOUYS / POOL / AFP

Exactly 21 years later she became the first woman in the modern era to score in the stadium, against Espanyol. Her name was engraved in the club’s history from that day forward, but her story started much earlier.

She started playing the sport in school, against boys.

“My mum had enough of me coming home with bruises on my legs, so she signed me up at a club so that I stopped playing during break-time,” Putellas said last year.

So, with her parent’s insistence, she joined Sabadell before being signed by Barca’s academy.

“That’s where things got serious… But you couldn’t envisage, with all one’s power, to make a living from football,” she said.

After less than a year with “her” outfit, she moved across town to Espanyol and made her first-team debut in 2010 before losing to Barca in the final of the Copa de la Reina.

She then headed south for a season at Valencia-based club Levante before returning “home” in July 2012, signing for Barcelona just two months after her father’s death.

In her first term there she helped Barca win the league and cup double, winning the award for player of the match in the final of the latter competition.

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