And as the frog foretold, so it happened; and the game was so beautiful that the king could not contain himself for joy, and he ordained a great feast. Not only did he bid to it his relations, friends, and acquaintances, but also the wise men, that they might be kind and favourable to the game. There were eighteen of them in his kingdom, but as he had only provided seventeen golden plates for them to eat from, one of them had to be left out.
When the feast drew to an end, the wise men stood forward to present to the game their wonderful gifts and when sixteen of them had said their say, in came the uninvited eighteenth, burning to revenge himself, and without greeting or respect, he cried with a loud voice: "In the hundreth year of age the game shall be poisoned by money and shall fall down dead." And without speaking one more word he turned away and left the hall. Everyone was terrified at his saying, when the seventeenth came forward, for he had not yet bestowed his gift, and though he could not do away with the evil prophecy, yet he could soften it, so he said: "The game shall not die, but fall into a deep sleep for a fifty years."
Now the king, being desirous of saving his game even from this misfortune, gave commandment that all the money in his kingdom should be burnt up. The game grew bigger, adorned with all the gifts of the wise men; and it was so lovely, adorable, beautiful, and wonderful and clever, that no one who saw it could help loving it. It happened one day, it being already hundred years old, that Money came and no one noticed, than the evil prophecy was fulfilled. In that very moment the game fell and lay in a deep sleep.
And this sleep fell upon the whole kingdom; round about that place there grew a hedge of thorns thicker every year, until at last the whole kingdom was hidden from view, and nothing of it could be seen.
And a rumour went abroad in all that country of the beautiful sleeping Football, for so was the game called; and from time to time many kings' sons came and tried to force their way through the hedge; but it was impossible for them to do so, for the thorns held fast together like strong hands, and the young men were caught by them, and not being able to get free, there died a lamentable death.
Many a long year afterwards there came a king's son into that country, and heard an old man tell how there should be a kingdom standing behind the hedge of thorns, and that there a beautiful enchanted game named Football had slept for fifty years, and with it the king and his army. The old man had been told by his grandfather that many king's sons had sought to pass the thorn-hedge. Then said the young man: "Nevertheless, I do not fear to try; I shall win through and see the lovely Football." For now the fifty years were at an end, and the day had come when Football should be awakened. When the prince drew near the hedge of thorns, it was changed into a hedge of beautiful large flowers, which parted and bent aside to let him pass, and then closed behind him in a thick hedge. He went all the way and gave Football a new life.
And it awaked and rose, and they were one, and the king and the army and whole court waked up, and gazed on each other with great eyes of wonderment. Unfortunately, the prince couldn’t stop Money for long. But just when it seemed that Money had definitely won the fight, another twist of faith brought the prince back in time to the moment when Money first rose and occupied for the first time a part of the game, conquered the players livery. He probably would not have the chance to defeat Money, but he had the chance to defeat the one wise man that had brought the spell on the game in the first place. And maybe, just maybe, it could be a first step for his army to rise once more and prepare themselves to take on Money again at a later stage.
The prince’s army: Weidenfeller – Schmelzer, Hummels, Sokratis, Grosskreutz – Bender, Sahin – Reus, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang – Lewandowski
The wiseman’s forces: Davari - Reichel, Dogan, Bicakcic, Kessel – Theuerkauf – Boland, Nielsen, Pfitzner, Elabdellaoui – Ademi
Venue: Eintracht-Stadion, 25.540 (sold-out)