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3 football prodigies nabbed after planning casino heist

Three promising young footballers at Bundesliga club Hanover 96 are in a whole lot of trouble after their plan to rob a casino went horribly wrong.

3 football prodigies nabbed after planning casino heist
Photo: DPA

They had everything planned. Each of them had a balaclava. They had a gas pistol. Their car even had fake licence plates. But in the end they couldn’t see it through, reports Spiegel.

Sat in the parking place on front of the casino, the trio – all aged between 18 and 19 – decided to turn around and forget about the whole escapade.

That could have been that. But the luckless youths parked the car in a no-parking zone. When police noticed the vehicle their suspicions were further aroused by the two different stolen licence plates on the front and the back.

A search of the vehicle revealed the balaclavas and gun and the three young talents were taken into custody, where they admitted to their plan, Bild reports.

The club have suspended the players.

“At Hannover 96 we don’t tolerate that kind of behaviour,” a spokesperson told Spiegel.

With the club currently rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga, this was the last piece of news they needed.

Police are currently investigating the incident.

“As well as the probable planning of a robbery the trio were responsible for licence plate theft and identity fraud,” a police spokesperson told Bild.

“The belief that the car was stolen was not confirmed by its owner. The Audi was used with permission by the 18-year-old son.”

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world. 

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