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Michael Schumacher Once Lied to His Friends That He Is Related to Ex-German Footballer to Impress Them

Nischay Rathore
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Michael Schumacher Once Lied to His Friends That He Is Related to Ex-German Footballer to Impress Them

When it came to his performance on a racetrack, Michael Schumacher‘s ability spoke for itself. But as a kid, he had to lie to impress his friends. That innocent lie was the fake familial relation with a renowned yet controversial German footballer of the time.

In Michael’s biography, The Edge of Greatness, writer James Allen revealed that footballer to be none other than the goalkeeper Harald Toni Schumacher. Toni’s last name came in handy for the future F1 legend to attract no suspicion.

Allen writes, “Schumacher has always followed the professional game closely. He has admitted that at school he used to lie that German goalkeeper Harald Toni Schumacher was his uncle, to impress his classmates!”

Michael’s association with football was not an unnatural occurrence. A massive enthusiast, he often used to train with the Swiss professional team FC Echichens. This was after he moved from Monaco to Switzerland in search of some privacy.

Naturally, he needed Ferrari team boss Jean Todt’s permission to train with a football team, given the fact that there was always a risk of injury involved. But it was more of a formality that Todt fulfilled, knowing well that a refusal would not stop the maverick driver.

The Ferrari champion may have moved to Switzerland, but his heart was always with his beloved German club, FC Cologne. The reason behind supporting the club again traced back to Toni Schumacher. As a child, FC Cologne’s Toni and Pierre Littbarski left Michael swooned, and that’s where the love for the club began.

How Michael Schumacher used football to strengthen ties at Ferrari

In the biography, James Allen revealed how Michael Schumacher used football’s team-bonding aspect to get the crew at Ferrari closer to each other. The entire team got together to play football on Thursdays, a day before a race weekend would kick off.

Highlighting the activity’s importance, Allen quoted Michael as saying, “We have a chance to spend time together aside from the motor racing.” He added, “That’s always very difficult otherwise, due to our timetable. We get to know one another even better in doing so. In football you recognize the characters, learn how to get along with them. You just don’t realize that otherwise in work.”

Schumacher always modestly downplayed his skills with the ball. However, the invitation from the Swiss team, Aubonne, to train with them was a testament to his mastery. The exposure to regular training soon resulted in his association with the Echichens, where he played as a reserve.

Owing to race weekends, the German driver more often than not missed out on weekend matches. However, he made sure that he was present for training 3 times a week with the club.

The ultimate honor came in the form of an invitation to play with the legends of the game. The F1 great played with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldo. Left in awe of their precision in passing and the surfaces they played on, Michael admitted they made him feel like a better player than he was.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Nischay Rathore

Nischay Rathore

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Nischay Rathore is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush with over a thousand articles under his belt. An avid Ayrton Senna admirer, Nischay embarked on his sports journalism journey despite completing graduation in Law. When not covering the high-speed thrills of the pinnacle of motorsport, he can be seen enjoying crime thrillers and 90s gangster movies with a hearty bowl of buttery popcorn.

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