Zorba the Buddha United

Remembering Here&Now

In May 1984 a historical football match took place in Berlin.


On the photo the two teams just after the match. Standing from left to right: Chidvilas, Anubuddha, Neeresh, Neerava, Prasadam, Nirdosh, Marc, Saguna, Didi, Anugito, Wendelin, Amito, Geetee. Sitting: Prasado, Madhur, Paro, Avinash, Sarjan, Atmomani, Raiyaj. Photo by Nirdosh, thanks to Wendelin and all!

It was the match between FC Zorba and Buddha Boys; two famous different teams with very different trainers. The team of FC Zorba had a strong tradition in Southern Europe. The Buddha Boys were winners in South East Asia for a long time.

FC Zorba was down to earth, creative and sometimes rough. Wild gestures, much fuss.

Many yellow and red cards had given but the results showed the truth: they won almost all. After each match won, there was always a party with spirits. If they lost there were spirits too, but not a party.

Buddha Boys were more controlled, more sophisticated, a bit boring to look at but effective. When they won you had to check the score board for you could not even see it on their faces! Their training was intense, the discipline high.

The match was in Park Rehbergen, West Berlin because East Berlin didn’t give permission to referee Osho who had his home base in America during those years. In the end Osho was also not permitted/granted entry into West Berlin so the players agreed to wear a mala with the picture of Osho, as a reminder.

Both sponsors and supporters of Buddha Boys and FC Zorba arranged the “Battle of Giants” providing drinks, food and football garb. FC Zorba had applied for alcohol during break, but the EUFA rules were clear; it was called Tea-Time and it was to be tea-time. (1-0 for BB)

Originally the Buddha Boys were expected to play in their regular outfit; white shirt, red trousers. FC Zorba used to wear red shirt, white trousers. Because of the possible hustle and misunderstandings white was chosen only for Buddha Boys and red only for FC Zorba.

However, arriving at Park Rehbergen in two buses there was confusion. In the dressing rooms each player found his outfit to be in 30 shades of red, for the cleaning department had washed all the clothes together! Big fuss, but both teams knew what was at stake.

The first half FC Zorba was on top. The opponents were still humming and chanting while Chidvilas (FCZ) scored 1-0 in the first minutes of the match. The game was hard but fair thanks to the referee who did not have to whistle but had his eyes on the game all the time.

After tea-break Buddha Boys came back with an enlightened pass from the back (Raiyaj) 1-1. Then, as a tactical move, both teams dropped their goals. Free floating and shooting enticed the audience – birds of different feathers – whistle in excitement. Who would win?

Going with the flow, the teams of FC Zorba and the Buddha Boys got together. There was no more I, no We, no They and in the end there were only winners; Zorba the Buddha United!

Text by Marc

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