German football has provided many curious facts since the Bundesliga was founded 54 years ago. The most mysterious one leads to the question how many goals have been scored in the league’s history so far? Now with the 20th round of matches coming up in the 2016/2017 season, people are discussing whether the 50,000 mark will be broken this weekend or not.

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football
While today every possible data of football, such as fouls, kilometers players run per game, possession and the number of man-on-man duels are supplied by specialist company’s seconds after the final whistle, the 50,000 goal question can’t be answered without leaving a substantial degree of uncertainty.

The official figure numbers 49,977 before kick-off of match-day 20 since the first games in 1963. The league is still 23 short of the magical figure. A study has revealed that an average of 27.5 strikes have hit the back of the net on the 1,817 match days, therefore the 50,000 barrier will be a piece of cake for strikers and fellow goal scorers this weekend.

This Friday evening FSV Mainz and FC Augsburg added two goals at their 2-0 to make it 49,979. The problem is, nobody is sure whether the statistics are right and now only 21 are missing to make it through the wall.

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Several goals have annulled due to wrong referee decisions and some games had to be replayed because coaches selected more non-European players than the three allowed. A 5-2 Eintracht Frankfurt win against Bayer Uerdingen was turned into a 2-0 for the latter. The five Frankfurt goals are still part of the official figure. A similar thing happened to the FC Kaiserslautern against VfL Bochum.

In 1995, a 5-2 Bayern Munich win against Frankfurt was annulled because four amateur players were on the pitch for Bayern which was not allowed at the time. Eintracht Braunschweig’s match against Frankfurt had to be abandoned at 2-0 due to heavy fog and was later replayed. So did several others.

Unforgotten: Two goals that simply were never real goals. In the referee’s eyes Thomas Helmer (Bayern Munich) scored against 1. FC Nuremberg in 1994 but the ball never crossed the goal line. Instead the ball rolled past the left post with Helmer turning his back towards the goal using his heel to kick the ball. It was plain for all to see that it was not a goal – except that is the referee. The match was played again and Bayern won 5-0 – Helmer’s goal though is not included in official figures.

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While Helmer was happy about the annulation of his for him rather embarrassing phantom goal, Stefan Kiessling from Bayer Leverkusen was not so lucky. On October 18 2013, the Leverkusen striker’ s header somehow found its way into the goal to put his side 1-0 up. However, the ball entered via a hole in the side netting. Again, fans could see what had happened but not the referee. The famous net with a hole has now made it into a museum. And Kiessling’s headed goal still counts and part of the official number.

The 1971/1972 season is regarded as one of the darkest moments in Bundesliga history as Arminia Bielefeld were deducted all its points and goals for manipulating matches. The 41 goals the team scored are still in the official figure.

Another curious game was Borussia Moenchengladbach’s encounter against Bremen. With the score at 1-1, a wooded post broke and the national football association decided to hand the game 2-0 to Bremen because the home team could not replace the goal in time.

The Nuremberg-based football-magazine “kicker” therefore has given its readers four different figures (49,977, 49,991, 49,968, 49,927) to choose from. So fans could well be asking, what is goal-fiction and what is in fact a goal? While big question marks remain, the German Football League has decided to stick with the 49,977 (or now 49,979) figure so that the 50,000 mark is most likely to be cracked this weekend whether German football fans actually believe it or not.

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Curious Bundesliga goal facts:

First goal: August 24, 1963 – Friedhelm Konietzka in the game Werder Bremen- Borussia Dortmund. He scored after 35 seconds and neither the photographers nor the TV camera were ready to capture the moment.

Fastest goal: Karim Bellarabi (2014/Bayer Leverkusen) and Kevin Volland (2015/TSG Hoffenheim) after only nine seconds

Goal from the longest distance: Moritz Stoppelkamp (2014) 82.3 meters

Most goals in a game: Dieter Mueller (FC Cologne) scored six times in the game Cologne vs Bremen (7-2) in 1977 – five goals have been scored in one game by one player on 16 occasions. The last occurrence was Bayern Munich’ s Robert Lewandowski five strikes against VfL Wolfsburg in 2015.

Youngest scorer: Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund) in 2005 was 16 years, two months and 21 days old. Enditem

Source: Oliver Trust, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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