Once a fortnight, a selection of the Guardian’s writers visit Europe to report from Europe. Today, one of them arrives in Germany to research a travel piece, taking in Leipzig and Dortmund as they attempt to prepare for the new season.
A common theme has emerged from the past few weeks and months: an increasing worry that the current rapid growth of the game is becoming a dangerous trend. Players are bigger, stronger and quicker – while global GDP and population is stagnating or falling.
Why is the world so worried about European football? Read more
And, after showing off his impressive skills, Raphael Honigstein is eager to know why.
• Translating a difficult feature into foreign language and providing extra context: Josh Halliday (“I’m not the only one”).
• One thing Raphael Honigstein can do to make the article: “You have a chance to gain a unique position in the world of football and it could save the planet.”
• The final images of world’s biggest games: Chris Lelliott (“A lone, blue-clad hero stands over the remains of a forest, his back against the wall, his finger’s crossed. His eyes are red, and he’s trying to read the injury mark left by a shot that made them bleed”).
• A way to put the article together: “Lisbon, Cork, Dublin … how will the smaller countries of Europe fare when the big five hit town?”
• The technique that has saved the day: “Not a bullet … but a snowball.”
• The greatest picture of recent months in sport: “Taken by Huw Richards during the World Cup qualifying play-off against Northern Ireland … the flag in the background doubles as a Zika shield.”
• The next photo taken inside the game: “It’s worth to watch a whole game to see the unfurling of a gigantic banner of a crying child in Southampton.”