After a private sneak preview in August 2003, director Sönke Wortmann and Rudi Völler, coach of the German national soccer team in 2003, discussed alluring Helmut Rahn (former goalgetter and scorer of the important last goal in Bern), who lived reclusively, to the official premiere of the movie. Rahn died the same night.
Peter Lohmeyer (Richard Lubanski) is the real-life-father of Louis Klamroth (Matthias Lubanski).
The man who introduces the new shoes (with screw-on spikes) to the coach is initially referred as "Adi". Later, his last name is revealed as "Dassler". He was the founder of Adidas, the sports wear company.
The actors playing the German football-team are football players in real life, too.
While the Lubanski family part of the story is completely fictional, many historic details related to soccer (letters, game results, three players stealing away from training camp, on-the-spot-reports, Adi Dassler etc.) are historical accurate.
Sönke Wortmann wanted to invite the real Helmut Rahn to the movie's premiere, but learned that he had died the same day.
With 6 minutes still to play and heavy rain, the actor who portrays the German reporter re-enacts original radio footage. He says "the spectators, they don't hold out" ("die Zuschauer, sie harren nicht aus"). While this was factually incorrect as the spectators in fact did hold out, it is historically correct. Herbert Zimmermann, the German reporter who did the memorable radio broadcast, really said that.
Sönke Wortmann used some memories of his own childhood in the Ruhr area for the film. For example, just as Matthias does in the film, the young Wortmann used to hide in his rabbit hutch when he was sad, viewing the rabbits as his friends and intimates - until one day they were slaughtered by his father for a Sunday meal.
Sascha Göpel was born in Essen, just as the real Helmut Rahn. His grandmother lived in the same street as Rahn, and he also has a childhood photo of himself with the football legend.
Andreas "Obel" Obering, who plays radio-reporter Herbert Zimmermann, was a member of the German comedy-duo "Till and Obel".