In case you’ve been in a bubble or living on a desert island for the last month, Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. With England’s dismal performance, it’s now far too long since we remembered what it felt like to win. The Germans went to town throughout the tournament with some incredible events being hosted all over the country, including the Berlin fan mile which adorned our TV screens. Here are some of the experiences and memories from people within Germany…
Tamer, 36, a performance marketing manager, watched the game with friends in the Olympic Stadium in Munich, formerly used by Bayern before their move to the Allianz.
“It was an exciting final and an open game, because both teams were after the win. Bastian Schweinsteiger was my man of the match – not just with the ball at his feet but mentally and emotionally as well. I was in the Olympic Stadium in Munich and after the goal from Mario Götze went in the atmosphere was absolutely insane. It was important for both the team and the country to win this final, as we’d suffered so many cruel defeats in the last few years. This team was more prepared than ever before to win the title. We are the world champions!”
Sagar, 21, a partner manager at an e-commerce firm in Berlin, watched the game with 600,000 others on the fan mile.
“Standing in the pouring rain, with nothing to cover me but a huge German flag, surrounded by a small gathering of 600,000 ecstatic German fans is possibly one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had, a close second to being born. Seeing a whole country erupt in cheers and singing and drinking is something you don’t see too often when supporting England in the World Cup, for obvious reasons. Germany’s atmosphere will be a tough one to compete with!”
Lisa, 23, studying to be a teacher in Münster, watched the game with her friends at their student house.
“The game was gripping, it was true end to end stuff and it could have gone either way. We got right behind the team and obviously hoped that Germany would take the lead we all so craved! Neuer, Schweinsteiger, Hummels and of course Mario Götze were our top players, but the whole team was unbelievable. When the final whistle went at the end of extra time, we couldn’t believe it – Germany were champions of the world 2014, and in Brazil?! An unbelievably amazing feeling! After so many years where we were so close, we really deserved it this time. Münster erupted with celebration. The whole city took to the streets and there were fireworks and chanting everywhere. It’s something we’ll never forget.”
Tomke, 24 and working in film production, had this to say about her experience in Hamburg.
“With the draw and the announcement of the squad for the 2014 World Cup, the sense of anticipation was much less than in 2006. Germany was no longer the favourite amongst the Germans and the atmosphere in the country represented that. Nobody thought we could win at the start of the World Cup. But with every victory, the expectations rose and rose and people were caught between a desperate hope and the ever-present sense of pessimism. When the evening of the World Cup final eventually arrived, the streets were pretty much empty. There were plenty of chances where everyone leapt to their feet with their arms in the air, but it remained tense until the bitter end. Meaning that the jubilation was even greater when Mario Götze scored his goal and Germany were crowned champions of the world.”
Alessandra, a 30-year-old Italian online editor in Berlin, watched the game at Kantine, part of the Berlin superclub Berghain.
“I watched the game at Kantine which is a bar and beer garden under the superclub Berghain, with my Italian boyfriend and a German friend whom I studied with. The audience was varied and strange. In the corner there was a group of about fifteen Germans between about 10 and 15. They were the only real fans of the national side. Genuinely tense and covered with the merchandise – German colours and replica shirts – they watched the whole game with interest. The rest of the audience was typical of the Berghain clientele, a true smorgasbord of Germans and foreigners. I kind of thought they were there just because it was THE final and you had to be seen to be seeing it. My German friend was so annoyed that these people weren’t interested. At the final whistle not many stayed, but we and the other German group I mentioned did. The game was over, the party began!”
Rob, 22, a translator in Hamburg, watched the game with mates in the fan park.
“I watched the Final at the Hamburg Fan Park, which is on a massive piece of land next to the St. Pauli stadium. We got there at 6pm, which was really early as we thought it would be full to capacity not long after then! The atmosphere was great throughout the whole game – we had chants, singing, creative insults screamed at people sat on shoulders or waving huge flags, flying beer, bad vuvuzela playing, pretty much everything. Into extra time and it was going dark, but everyone was still really confident. Argentina had had two guilt-edged chances to win it and I think the Germans sensed it was theirs to take now. Then Mario Götze pops up and half-volleys the ball past Romero with seven minutes to spare. The place went mad. I thought they were confident but it was as if a goal was the last thing they expected with the celebrations! The final whistle was met with three renditions of “We are the Champions”. We then made our way with the crowds out of the Park and down the Reeperbahn. This place is crazy enough on a weekend but add a load of football fans and fireworks going off in the street… we’ll call it atmosphere!”
“This place is crazy enough on a weekend but add a load of football fans and fireworks going off in the street… we’ll call it atmosphere!”
Max, 26, from Freiburg ended up watching the game with his mates at his old football club, but that wasn’t the original plan. He was due to watch the World Cup final in Brazil. But unfortunately, injury sent him home meaning he would miss the last game of the tournament, odd for a fan. So how did this tragedy strike? During an arm wrestle on the beach of Salvador de Bahia. It was then that his arm snapped. A Brazilian hospital told him the operation needed to be done at home, so despite spending three and a half thousand euros on his trip, Max was forced to return to Germany for five hours of surgery. But he remains upbeat:
“My arm will most likely never be the same again. But at least I’ll always have a reminder of the World Cup!”
One day we could be lucky enough to experience this in fair old England, but the champions of the world definitely deserve their title, even if on atmosphere alone.
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons