Sunday, May 26, 2013
Borussia Dortmund Ole!
Two years ago Wembley hosted the European Champions League Final and I said at the time I wanted to head down, just to take in the atmosphere as much as anything, but events transpired against me and I didn't make it. Man United ended up being completely outclassed by Barcelona and maybe it wouldn't have been that fun anyway?
But somehow Wembley ended up as the chosen stadium for the Final again this year, and I was determined not to miss out. Especially as it was Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund, two teams from Germany at a time when the German Bundesliga is widely considered the best in Europe. And with our move to NZ getting closer I knew there would never be another opportunity.
So my mate Lewis and I jumped on the train yesterday afternoon and boarded the Metropolitan line for Wembley Park.
After a walk around the stadium, a few enquiries with touts (cheapest tickets we saw were £500 for a pair, but also as much as £1000 for one), and the purchase of a scarf we started to think about finding a pub.
The whole area was full of Dortmund fans, they hugely outnumbered Bayern and there was a great atmosphere. And being the underdog they were our chosen team for the evening. Hence getting our faces painted and having a photo taking 'in the team dressing room'.
It was great to be there and be able to enjoy the day and not actually worry about the football. I'm better at it now than I used to be, but certainly there is always a feeling at big games that you just want it over and done with and to know if you can celebrate or not. The build up is a stressful time and the match itself can be such a fraught experience! Not so for us yesterday though, those were the times we were there for!
We ended up in a Dortmund pub (we didn't even see a Bayern one) and it was phenomenal. Their fans were great, the pub was bouncing, and when Dortmund scored the equaliser the place went mad.
Sadly it was not to be, and a goal at the death gave Bayern a 2-1 win. This left many Borussia brothers heading home with their head in their hands.
If you're a football fan I cannot recommend attending a German match enough. We were shown video from other Dortmund games by one of their fans and it was breathtaking. Plus they still retain some standing areas. And ticket prices are cheap. And their fans are brilliant. We didn't see any signs of fans clashing or generally being drunken idiots ... it was just a load of football fans enjoying the beautiful game, just as it should be.
All my other photos from the night are here.