Fact of fake: Finn Becker on Hamburg

In terms of population, Hamburg is the largest city in Europe that is not a capital. The Alster, the Elbe and the numerous sights make this metropolis in Northern Germany one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Finn Becker – who was born in Elmshorn, which is not far from Hamburg, and played for FC St. Pauli between the ages of 11 and 22 – addresses the stereotypes and prejudices about the Hanseatic city in 'Fact or fake'.

(1): The weather is always bad in Hamburg. (Fact)

"That's unfortunately correct. There is one month with good weather in Hamburg; it's rainy, windy and unpleasant the rest of the year. But I have learned in Hamburg that there is appropriate clothing for every type of weather. You have to adapt yourself to the weather and then you can withstand it well."

(2): The people in Hamburg tend to be cool and distant. (Fake)

"I don't think so at all. Of course, depending on where you go, it can happen that you meet more distant people. But I like the people in Hamburg; they are nice and friendly. If the weather was better, they might smile even more often." (laughs)

(3): A visit to St. Pauli for a night out isn't worth it. (Fake)

"No, it's worth it. The Reeperbahn really is an experience for everyone. It's a completely different world not necessarily my thing, but you should have seen this colourful hustle and bustle once in your life. At FC St. Pauli, we used to spend our team evenings in the neighbourhood."

(4): Every Hamburg native loves Franzbrötchen. (Fact)

"If I had to answer from my personal perspective, I'd say no. But I was born in Schleswig-Holstein and so I'm not really a true Hamburger (laughs). You can buy Franzbrötchen (a sweet pastry baked with butter and cinnamon) almost everywhere in the city and it's the traditional Hamburg dessert, so I'll allow the statement to stand."

(5): Everything is top-class in Hamburg – except for the football. (Fake)

"That has now changed, thank God, because a team and in my eyes, the right one has been promoted. But it was high time too, it's actually unbelievable that we haven't had a Bundesliga club since 2018. The city deserves a top-flight team I'd even go as far as to say at least one."

(6): The harbour is very big but not that beautiful. (Fake)

"I love the harbour. The crane towers are a distinguishing characteristic of Hamburg and we have really great places such as the modern Hafencity (the harbourside neighbourhood) and the historic Speicherstadt (warehouse district). The musicals in the harbour such as The Lion King also attract countless visitors. But there too, everything would probably be much nicer if the sun came out more often." (laughs)

(7): Hamburg is Germany's most beautiful city. (Fact)

"Absolutely. Hamburg has so much to offer, it's traditional and modern at the same time, simultaneously stylish and rebellious. It's definitely the most beautiful city in Germany in my eyes. But I also have to say that I have really taken a liking to Heidelberg as a city. I also get to see the sun more often here."

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