Life of a Women Soccer Legend

You won’t find Patricia Hanebeck in the ranking of the most successful German women soccer players if you you drill down the hall of fame of the national team. You definitely might find her if there was a leaderboard for the most talented and impressing players of the last decades, though. Recently, Patricia published her biography, written in collaboration with German author Leni Rempe. Here is a review of her book called “Nachspielzeit – jede Minute zählt” (overtime / injury time  – every second counts).

The book is available as hardcover, paperback and e-book.

Patricia Hanebeck – Some Bio and Stats

Patricia was born in 1986 and grew up in Sankt Augustin, a town adjacent to former German capital Bonn. She was the first girl ever to play soccer at her home club, ASV Sankt Augustin, one of the major sports clubs in her city. According to the German Soccer Association statistics, she played an overall of 276 matches, thereof 180 wins and 80 goals. However, this statistics seems to miss her matches for Bad Neuenahr, where she had her first Bundesliga match. Despite playing for the Under 17 16 times and the Under 19 14 time, Patricia Hanebeck has never been nominated to the national team. She finished her career at the end of the 2016/17 season playing for TSV Crailsheim in the 2nd Bundesliga. The key milestone of her career is definitely the Under 19 World Championship 2004.

Patricia Hanebeck with her own biography (private picture)

Patricia Hanebeck – The Biography

“Nachspielzeit – jede Minute zählt” is comparably compact. The paperback is about 100 pages, the letters are printed comparably large. Leni Rempe takes the position of a narrator and tells the story of Hanebeck’s life in short episodes. Thereby, Rempe does not only talk about her discussions with Hanebeck, but also meets other important people of her career like her mother or her first soccer coach, but also with former players.

If I would describe the book in two words, I would chose “honest” and “fair”. It feels that Hanebeck really told Rempe what she felt in the described characteristic situations of her life.  On the other hand, the book is trying to stay on the fact level when it comes to other people. There would have been easy chances to directly blame people. In one section, the book describes how “Patti” was more or less kicked out of the squad of FCR Duisburg with the help of her former girlfriend and some other players, who knew before her that her contract will not be prolonged. However, the book does not tell the name of any of these people. I especially had to smile when Patricia described how in her very first German Cup Final, played in front of 20,000 people in Berlin, her former Duisburg coach was doing a goalie substitution for the penalty shots. Lena Hohlfeld replaced Kathrin Längert – but the book does not name that there was also a private relationship which played a role in that decision. Even when it comes to national team nominations, where Hanebeck has definitely been treated unfairly in the past, she is not going for the “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” principle.

I am sure the book would have a lot more pages if Hanebeck would have allowed the reader some more voyeurism about the insights of women soccer. But this book is not about the (mis-)behavior of others, it really focuses on the main actor, Patricia Hanebeck herself. This finally makes it a short(er), but great read.

Patricia Hanebeck – Private Life and Problems

Hanebeck’s biography is not just about soccer. it starts with her private life as a kid in the Rhineland area, how she got around with boys and girls of her age. It is not a big deal of the book that Hanebeck is affected to women, but the most impressive part of the book maybe is when the book describes Hanebeck’s mental problems and panic attacks and how they influenced her life, also on the soccer ground. She impressively describes how one attack hit her int he middle of a match and how she somehow survived the remaining minutes.

The book ends with one of the most dramatic hits of Hanebeck’s life: short before the publication of the book, her father Jürgen Hanebeck died of cancer.


Patricia Hanebeck – My View on “Nachspielzeit – …”

When you first open the book, you might be touched by a feeling of disappointment: 100 pages, comparably large letters and quite some pictures at the end does not really feel like just having purchased a great value for money. It is a comparably quick read, but intense. The book is very compact in the way it is written and structured. Leni Rempe did a very wise job in structuring “Nachspielzeit – jede Minute zählt” in that way. If you are interested in sports, I would absolutely recommend to go for this book. If you look for soccer scandals, I am likely personally able to tell you more of them than this book will give you. You simply need to value what you get instead.



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