Almost one year has passed since I travelled to Dublin with some good friends on one of my very rare private football trips which had nothing to do with my work in the football business.
It was a three-day trip with the main event taking place at the first day itself! The German national team faced the Republic of Ireland in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Aviva Stadium on the evening of October 12, 2012.
We were not disappointed by Joachim Löw’s team as the “Mannschaft” handed Giovanni Trapattoni’s side the biggest defeat in the history of the Football Association of Ireland. Germany won the match 6-1 in front of 40,000 fans courtesy to goals by Marco Reus (2x), Toni Kroos (2x), Mesut Özil and Miroslav Klose. Andy Keogh scored the consolation goal in the 92nd minute.
It was my first trip to Ireland and I have to say I have fallen in love with Dublin and the Irish people. These guys are a friendly bunch of people enjoying every moment in their life and they have impressed me even more with their approach of fair play.
We were walking through the streets of Dublin right after the game and many Irish fans just crossed the road or came out of the pubs to congratulate us for the win. “You are champions!”, “You deserved the win!” or “Well done, Germany!” were just some of the congratulations we welcomed from the Irish fans. Many fans even invited us to join them in the pubs and enjoy a beer with them.
I have seen many football matches and I’ve interacted with many fans in the past years, but I’ve never experienced such a friendly hospitality from the fans of a side which has been humiliated in the own backyard less than an hour ago.
We are now approaching October 11, 2013. It’s the day when Germany will host the “Boys in Green” for the return leg of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the RheinEnergie Stadium in Cologne.
My friends and I have decided to attend the match and to give the Irish visitors the same hospitality we enjoyed during our stay in Dublin. I hope it will be a wonderful night of entertaining football and another memorable match.
I would like to share some pictures and a video clip of my visit to the Republic of Ireland v Germany mach as a small appetizer for the return leg on Friday.
Enjoy the pictures and the video clip…