Wednesday, August 5, 2020

What remains of Marcel Heller at Darmstadt 98

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Kone can look so amazed. Nobody can be so outraged. Marcel Heller, who flaps up and down the outer lines, is so much part of the standard program at Böllenfalltor that everyone has got used to the impressive spectacle, which has been performed many times more often than „Dinner for one“ on public television.

Heller runs, Heller seems to have the ball stuck to his foot, Heller stumbles, Heller falls to the ground – Heller spreads his arms, sitting on his back on the lawn, his eyes wide with indignation. And his outrage always finds a target: either the opponent who dared to foul. Or the referee, who dared not to recognize the foul.

Heller is always completely on his own on the pitch. Not a moment in six Darmstadt years when it was not clear that someone was passionately passionate about the game. “Lilies” fans never saw Heller’s limp or even listless appearance. Ineffective, unfortunate, invisible appearances already existed. But also countless appearances and appearances in which sparks seemed to spray. And so Heller could go on and on forever, adding more to his 209 Darmstadt competitive games in three different leagues, the Hesse and DFB Cups (22 goals, 34 goal preparations, no relegation).

Nobody would be surprised if he secretly signed a lifetime contract at Darmstadt 98. Because “Helle”, as it is called internally, has proven that it can do first, second and third league. That he never ducks away even in times of crisis, not ready for printing, but formulated honestly where others take refuge in empty phrases.

But now comes the awakening: An era ends, the 34-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the month and is not extended. Heller will leave SVD after the last second division season match this Sunday (3.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the second Bundesliga and at Sky) at VfB Stuttgart, his goal, he has announced, is to continue playing football. The United States would irritate him. It is certain that the audience would appreciate him there too if he pushed his back in his characteristic way and his short legs rattled over the lawn in the sewing machine cycle. “Fast, faster, brighter” became a popular reputation in Darmstadt. A punk rock song once dedicated to him contains the text line: “It is not an airplane and not an ICE either – it is the blue flash of hell.”

Lighter is the Methuselah in the SVD squad, the last relic that has still experienced the “Wonder of Bielefeld” on the lawn, the sensational promotion to the second division in May 2014. Since then the former Eintracht professional from Darmstadt in 2013 the Aachen Viertliga bankruptcy estate was fetched, he remained loyal to the “lilies” except for a one-year trip to FC Augsburg.

It was a little quieter this season. The punch seemed to have been lost to him at the age of 34, this assertiveness, when a dash of robustness has to be added to the speed and technique. “I always tell our young players: If you want to be a professional, stick to Marcel Heller,” says the now departing head coach Dimitrios Grammozis: “He is an absolute model professional, as I have hardly seen a player in this way have. How he trains, how he feeds, how he prepares, how he gets on the pitch, how he does something after the training. With this professionalism, he showed many young players what it takes to be barely injured in their age and to always be there when they are needed. ”When the corona spook is over, the Darmstadt residents should think about a splendid farewell game for Heller . He deserved it.

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