Tag Archives: football

Attempting to watch the Germany team train

Oh dear oh dear.

This weekend, the German Women’s World Cup team are training a five minute walk away from us here in Meerbusch. The excitement in the town… indeed the whole region is palpable. There are Germany flags on cars, Germany flags on flagpoles, Germany shirts on kids and adults alike… scarcely a beer is downed in our local hostelries without an opinion being expressed about the future of Birgit Prinz in the team or the marital status of the Korean referee’s parents.

Today we wandered down to the training ground.

From what we could tell, every parking space in Meerbusch – possibly in the whole of the Niederrhein – was taken by fans, hoping for a glipse of the women footballers.  Even the team bus had been forced to drive into the ground and park in a zone outside the changing rooms which is normally closed to traffic. I should have rented out my driveway!

Parken verboten - except for the Germany bus, obviously

Getting near to the ground was tricky, due to the sheer number of fans who had turned up. The stand was packed to bursting…

Standing room only... no not even standing room....

It seems that around five times more people had turned up than expected, causing the local police to phone for assistance from the Kriminalpolizei, who had in turn ordered the DFB to lay on marshalls. These turned up in the form of a local security firm, whose key role seemed to be to turn away anyone else who showed up. In a very officious manner.

We managed to plead with one of the security goons, who wasn’t letting us in, to let us take one photo of the team training.

The Germany team in Büderich

“That’s two…” he snarled, as we cunningly flicked the camera shutter a second time.

A photo too far....

… and with that we were virtually frog-marched away.


Filed under About Germany, Life in Germany

Another reason why footballers shouldn’t fake injury…

because the risks associated with being stretchered off the pitch are just not worth it….

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Filed under comedy, German video, Life in Germany

So… the football is over…

Germany came second. The TV signal held up for the final. But it could have all been so much worse… just imagine if Germany had played Austria in the final… with a commentary from South American ex-pat Germans…


Filed under comedy, World War 2

Germany versus Greece – philosophy football

As the entire household settles down in front of the TV tonight, chilled beers at the ready, to watch the Germany v. Turkey match in the European Championships… my mind goes back to that very famous game between Germany and Greece…. Monty Python’s Philosophy Football.



Filed under comedy

International rivalries

Of course the eternal struggle for national dominance isn’t just restricted to Birgit and myself. It isn’t even just a German-British thing. It seems like everybody wants to get one up on the Germans.

Take the Dutch, for example.

Living, as I do, in the border area of Germany and the Netherlands, it’s impossible to ignore the intense enmity between the two nations.

The Germans refer to the Dutch language as a Halskrankheit (thoat infection), whereas the Dutch have never quite recovered from wartime occupation and are prone to lock up their bicycles whenever they see a German car coming over the border, lest their sole means of transport should be commandeered again.

The Germans refer to their Dutch neighbours as Käseköpfe (cheese heads). The Dutch get their own back by towing their caravans at a snail’s pace down the German Autobahn in convoys of several thousand every Summer, thus ensuring that the Germans never have chance to switch their Porsches and Mercedes out of second gear.

But at no time is the rivalry between the two nations more fierce than when sport is at stake. And by sport I mean, of course, football.

Remember when the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea, and the Germans released a hit single “Ohne Holland fahr’n wir zur WM“?

Or what about the Euro 2004? Remember this video?

With the Euro 2008 coming up and both teams going to Austria/Switzerland… and with the Dutch driving all the way across Germany to get there, it should make for an exciting Summer on the roads.

I might have to buy a Bahncard.

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Filed under comedy, German video, Life in Germany