Saturday 24 June 2006
Highlights: The World Cup Germany (2) v Sweden (Knock Out Stage)
Waking up very early (7.30 am) I got up after a sleepless night (due to the heat not concern about making the game) I had a very long shower since it’s the last for 36 hours. The hostel let me leave my bag, we’ll see if it is there when I get back! I ended up catching the right bus in the wrong direction 🙂 Once I realised I was finally on my way to the airport. In France airports they say they will explode any bags left unattended, I got to see that first hand today, they are not kidding.
Unfortunately this made my flight leave 25 minutes late (eating into my 2 hours 45 mins time to get to the ground in Munich). Catching the wrong bus and the delay in flight does not make for a good start to the day. Having done pre-plan when last in Munich I jumped straight on the train and got off at the right station to make a transfer to the football train line. Now seeing thousands of people all trying to get onto a fully loaded train on a day of at least 35c reminded me of the old ‘Door Buster’ sales and that people can be like animals at times. Once on the train I think I sweated about a litre in the 30 minute ride, however I got to the ground on time.
After going through two different security barriers (and getting patted down, but not strangely my ticket checked with me id) i was in the ground 45 minutes before kick-off. I had ‘in theory’ a restricted view seat I’m not sure what the restriction was as it seemed like a great view. Germany proved to be way too good on the day scoring a goal in the first 4 minutes and following up at about the 30 minute mark. To make it worst Sweden had a player red carded. The locals loved it, and kept singing all day and having lots of fun. In the second half Sweden actually lifted even though they only had 10 players. In fact they should have scored from a penalty shoot. In the end it was Germany 2-0.
BTW It cost 3.50 Euro for a drink of Coke (which I really needed) which is close to $7 AUD!! German fans demonstrated to me that they can really celebrate. I think it will be a very long night indeed. The hostel managed to remember my booking and the fact I had already paid so everything was great (lost around 0.5 litres in sweat on the way to the hostel however. Have to say Munich when it isn’t overcast looks and feels great. Now if my bag is given back to me tomorrow my plans from 5 months ago will have come off perfectly. The whole experience was definitely worth it. Soccer is huge in Europe and I got to see it on the biggest stage. I was offered 500 Euros for my tickets but declined the offer – this will probably be my only ever Soccer World Cup match.