10 December 2019
“I would have been even better with those”
In 1980 Toni Schumacher became European Champion as goalkeeper of the German national team. For many he is still a goalkeeper legend today. For the new edition of the uhlsport FANGMASCHINE he talks about what makes the gloves of today better than in his active days, how the goalkeeping game has changed and what defines a complete goalkeeper for him.
“If only I’d had them sooner. Then I wouldn’t have such crooked and broken fingers today.”
Toni Schumacher holds the FANGMASCHINE in his hand, or rather, the new edition of the absolute uhlsport classic, which was last developed and produced in 2014. Toni is amazed, kneads the latex powerfully with his hands. Then he remembers his first gloves and has to admit that he is a little jealous of the goalkeepers of today.
“When I see the palm today – I don’t need sugar spits anymore!”
At first glance, the retro model looks like its predecessors that made it into the uhlsport catalogue decades earlier. Black with red accents. Even the grip on the palm of the hand shines black, and in the right light even the “high grip” particles of the SUPERGRIP flash up. No comparison to Toni’s old goalkeeper gloves “with the ping-pong nubs” on the palm. The flat gloves he wore back then are now packed with technology – breathable textile fabric, latex reinforcements and a SCHOCKZONE on the knuckles of the hand. The cut of the new glove, the popular HALF NEGATIVE CUT with inner seams, is tight-fitting and appears like a second skin.
“I sometimes think the goalkeeper could be more outgoing today, showing that he’s in charge back there.”
Not only the gloves have changed compared to the 70s and 80s. Goalkeeping itself has also changed, has become more versatile. The modern goalkeeper joins in and additionally shapes the game. For Toni all this sounds fine, “but in the end it is important that the goalkeeper stops the balls”. Above all, the adaptation of rules such as the back-pass rule – “we were still allowed to pick up the ball” – has its influence on the goalkeeper’s game. Regardless of athletics and technique, one thing always remains the same for Toni: “Today a goalkeeper has to be as courageous as in the past. Not much has changed.”