World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Brandenburg Blues

paul_armstrong_55x55.gif BERLIN - As I’ve been at pains to point out throughout the tournament, the BBC’s World Cup coverage from Germany isn’t being brought to you by a bunch of little Englanders.

Honestly.

However, I would be lying if I told you that the prevalent mood here at our HQ in Berlin this evening is one of “Hey-ho - you win some, you lose some.”

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Flat out and heading home

MartinGELSENKIRCHEN - The scene at the hastily-installed second fan fest in Gelsenkirchen told the tale of the day.

Where not one hour previously around 30,000 England fans had urged Sven-Goran Eriksson's team on, there was now just a mass of discarded plastic glasses and the odd fan laid out on the ground - too much sun, too much beer and the pain of defeat having taken their toll.

Check out the video.

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What is it about penalties?

paul_fletcher.gif GELSENKIRCHEN - Terrible, just terrible. I am sick to the stomach.

England's defeat to Portugal on penalties induces not only a distressing feeling of deja vu but also a slight nausea.

Two years ago I wrote this article - change a few words and it is as relevant today as it was then.

It could have all been so different, certainly the day got off to an interesting start - read more about my trip to the ground in a limo belonging to a, as-then-unkown to me, famous German actor further down.

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England's optimism runneth over

phil_mcnulty.gifARENAAUFSCHALKE GELSENKIRCHEN - England's travelling media have arrived at the magnificent Gelsenkirchen stadium riding a wave of optimism.

We have all expressed justifiable reservations about the way England have performed in this World Cup so far - you cannot portray low-key and lifeless displays as sporting works of art.

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Hotting up already

The 70,000 England fans predicted here have indeed arrived. They are streaming out of the main station and lining the roads into town.

In the square by the main station they are hanging out their flags enjoying a drink in the sunshine and singing "We're not going home".

It's incredibly hot here already - it's only 10am and I'm struggling carrying a laptop around in what must be 30 degrees at least. But the atmosphere is optimistic and expectant.

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Racing towards Gelsenkirchen

paul_fletcher.gif A SERVICE STATION - I drive until the (not so) early hours to get us within striking distance of Gelsenkirchen- and England's quarter-final tie with Portugal.

Ricco and I went to the match between Italy and Ukraine in Hamburg on Friday night.

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Lehmann gets the party started

MartinMOTORING TOWARDS GELSENKIRCHEN – The moment Jens Lehmann saved Esteban Cambiasso’s penalty to send Germany into the World Cup semi-finals, Fletch and I immediately turned on our heels and walked away.

We had to get ourselves to Hamburg’s stadium for the Italy v Ukraine match, but any thoughts that we were leaving the party were soon quashed by the number of jubilant Germans who joined us on the train.

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