20.8.06

München and the victory against Argentina

So there I was. Surrounded by a crowd of soccer fans in the middle of Marienplatz waiting for the mechanical knights to fight once more inside the bell tower. I was in Germany for a few hours but I could feel something was going on. People carrying German flags were taking over the city.

In fact, I was there for the same reason: the Soccer World Cup. After a sleepless night in the plane and a quick nap in the middle of the afternoon, I was ready for it. The German's game against
Argentina. I took the subway and went to the Tassilogarten to meet Johanna and her friends. I arrived a bit late at the crowded pub. I stood up and watched the first half of the game on one of the big screen. No goals, but a very good game. The German crowd is nervous. I finally found Johanna before the second half started. They were sitting on a wooden table next to the screen. I squeezed in. I was great seeing her again...but not much time to talk, the second half is starting...

The Argentineans scored first...the pub went quiet for a few seconds. The Germans started to doubt. They knew that this was going to be a difficult game. They also knew that this team from
South America would close the play and stick to defence mode to keep their one goal advantage. But even more scary...they knew they were good at it.

Ten minutes before the end...Klose scored ! The whole crowd went up and started jumping and shouting. They were back in the game. They started to believe again ! The second half was over now. Everybody ordered another beer before the extra time. They all knew the Argentineans could scored quickly at anytime. They had seen the game they won against
Mexico.

After 30 minutes of exciting soccer, no one scored. Time for penalty kicks. Everyone is nervous fixing the screen. As planned, Neuville, that got into the game at the 86th minute, is the first to shoot for the Germans. From what I hear from the crowd, he is a specialist. He scores. The whole pub jumps again ! Then the Argentineans score, no sound. 1-1. Ballack, the German captain places his ball, shoot and scores. Crazy ! Then, what everyone was hoping happened. Lehmann, the German’s goalkeeper stopped the ball from Ayala...It's hard to describe the craziness that surrounded me at that time. Pure joy was floating around. Two kids running bicycles down the street stopped and entered the pub. They were standing by the door watching the screen not knowing if they could stay in the pub. People from the crowd grabbed them and invited them to join this intense moment. The two kids sat on the floor and watched Podolski scored the third penalty kick for
Germany. The whole country got energized again when Lehmann stopped a second shot...That's it, Germany won and moved to the quarter final. Everybody was screaming, crying, chanting !!! Pure happiness. The music started...kind of rock music in German. Johanna explained to me what the song is about. Based on some mathematical formula, the next year Germany wins the cup is in 2006 ! and now the whole country is believing it !!!

Looking back, I wondered how sad it must be down in
Buenos Aires.

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