Football-obsessed German rock trio Sportfreunde Stiller formed outside of Munich in 1996. Singer/guitarist Peter "Balboa" Brugger, bassist Rüdiger Linhof, and drummer Florian "Rakete" Weber derived the name from their former soccer instructor Hans Stiller, adding "Sportfreunde" (German for "sports friends") when a rival band laid claim to the Stiller name. The group issued its debut EP, Macht Doch Was Ihr Wollt, Ich Geh Jetzt shortly after forming, with the follow-up, Thonträger, appearing two years later. Sportfreunde Spiller issued their first full-length effort, So Wie Einst Real Madrid, in 2000. Its titular emphasis on the beautiful game further cemented the trio's athletic image, and in 2003 "Independent," a track from their sophomore effort, Die Gute Seite, was included on EA Sports' FIFA 2003 video game. The third Sportfreunde Spiller LP, Burli, hit stores in 2004. Two years later, their World Cup-inspired fan anthem "'54, '74, '90, 2006" topped the German charts, and when the German national squad was ousted against eventual champion Italy, the band reworked the song as "'54, '74, '90, 2010" in anticipation of the next World Cup tournament in South Africa. Later that same year, Sportfreunde Stiller was nominated as Best German Act at the annual MTV Europe Music Awards. ~ Jason AnkenyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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