Senin, 14 Juni 2010

Germany celebrating

After last nights 4-0 trashing of Australia Germans were out to celebrate "Die Mannschaft"! And across the country people poured out onto the streets to relive the moments of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the European Championships 2008. And all are hoping that the "Sommermaerchen" (the summers fairytale) will be relived during this summers World Cup. At least the start has been made...

Public viewing as a concept is something which was developed and professionalised for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and it is now not only an "in" thing to watch a major football tournament together with other people outside, but something very normal here in Germany. It is now happening across the country be it large cities or smaller towns with thousands of Germans watching. And now the concept is even spreading around the world with the official FIFA FanFests across the globe.

I myself watched the game on the public square in front of the town hall in my home town of Remscheid with 5,000 other people. And it was a great atmosphere, an enjoyable experience under a sunny evening sky. I had invited two Indian friends over and met a number of friends at the ground. My Indian friends told me afterwards that they had had an experience which they never expected. They surely enjoyed the football with the sausages and beer, but even more the celebrations as they were surprised to see the Germans celebrate like this especially after the game when people started singing and dancing on the roads, hugging each other, honking their cars, hanging out of their cars with the police just mute bystanders. It looked like Germany had already won the World Cup. And to think about July 11 and what would happen here, I would love to see it...

Some are already talking about the passage to the final. And could read like this: pre-quarterfinal: vs England; quarterfinal: vs Argentina; semifinal: vs Spain; final: vs Brazil.

Still it is a long way to go for the German team to reach the finals and lift the cup for the fourth time. But a first step has been taken, a big first step and the basic foundations have been laid. Now the team needs to build on it and it surely has the full public support back home in Germany.

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