A city in mourning
The streets of Munich are empty this morning as a city in mourning comes to terms with its loss.
But what a day, what an atmosphere. Being a rugby nut, one doesn’t have too much experience when it comes to the beautiful game, and its bigger matches, but if you ever get the chance to be close to such a massive match, it certainly is recommended.
Jetting into Munich the morning of the match we were treated to thousands of banners, amazing scenery and a constant reminder that Munich were playing. Everywhere you turned, red and white, red and white. Robben, Ribery and Gonzalez donned virtually every shirt we passed, every person we saw.
In fact, was it not until late afternoon at the MarienPlatz and we wouldn’t even have known Chelsea was in town. We were swamped with Bayern fans everywhere we went, and as we were on the Castle Taven Tour, red and white suited us down to a tee. That, of course, and the fact I have a personal dislike for one John Terry.
That aside, we stumbled onto the MarienPlatz with a sea of fans, beer bottles and broken glass, singing in one corner when we finally heard the Chelsea fans. “There’s only one CFC…Theres only one CFC” – a bit basic but we got the point.
The litre beer steins were flowing and while we expected a bit more tension, the carnival atmosphere was amazing. We danced, sang and drank along, both sides were our allies, with every fan loving our Vuvuzelas and reminiscing about the great Fifa World Cup in 2010.
But finally it was down to business, and there was a match to watch. Tickets were going on the black market for 500 Euros, so while we were close enough to touch the action, we ended up at a bar with the locals. It was cries of anguish and cries of joy as Bayern looked to have won, then lost it again. The extra time was excruciating for the locals, the penalties like death in the family.
Munich went dead quiet afterwards, except for the odd cries of “We’re the famous CFC”. It wasn’t their night. But man oh man, what an atmosphere, what passion and what support. Munich did itself proud, even if the match didn’t match the expectations.
Rugby may have its attractions, but when it comes to a big match in the beautiful game, it has some catching up to do.