World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Welcome to Absurdistan

phil_mcnulty.gifBADEN-BADEN England's World Cup charm offensive was lapped up by hundreds of fans allowed to watch them go through their paces at a superbly-appointed training camp on the edge of the Black Forest.

Sadly, the arrival of England's superstars was not universally well-received, with one mean-spirited resident festooning his house with a giant banner announcing "Welcome to Absurdistan" - a reference to the tight security surrounding the England team.

It struck only a minor note of dischord, with many England flags decorating the picturesque hillside.

And as Paul Robinson said, you suspect England fans would not reciprocate with German colours should Jurgen Klinsmann's men pitch up in a village back home.

Aside from the vast mountain of food lavished on the world's media - 300 are expected at each conference by the Football Association - the most vital part of the day was training.

And it can reported that, metatarsals aside, no-one was spared physical contact in a frenetic session.

While Ashley Cole and David Beckham lapped the pristine playing surface, Michael Owen was forced take evasive action from Sol Campbell, John Terry whacked Wayne Bridge and the Chelsea captain himself also took a blow.

No sign of Sven's stars being wrapped in cotton wool.

David Beckham responded to the customary gaggle of schoolgirl admirers with a polite wave, while Frank Lampard was forced to run the gauntlet of some light-hearted German jeering after a wayward shot at goal.

But if, as hinted, England and the FA have upset the locals with security measures, there was certainly no sign of it here.

A job well done all round.

In other news, the stray luggage has now arrived and Her Majesty's Press will represent the nation in fitting style at the Mayor of Baden-Baden's official reception.

Soft drinks all round.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:40 PM on 06 Jun 2006,
  • Chris Leitch wrote:

A good point made by Paul Robinson. I wouldn't watch Germany if they were playing in my garden!

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  • 2.
  • At 08:02 PM on 06 Jun 2006,
  • fústar wrote:

The positive welcome Paul Robinson spoke of shouldn't really surprise anyone. The predictable antipathy for the Germans - 'celebrated' every 4 years, in jingoistic fashion, by the tabloids etc - does not seem to be widely reciprocated by the Germans themselves.

Let's hope WW2 references (and related songs) are kept to a minimum and that a more modern, inclusive kind of Englishness is expressed during the tournament.

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  • 3.
  • At 09:48 PM on 06 Jun 2006,
  • Colin Stevens wrote:

Phil,

I liked the blog. Not sure about the final line though. 300 journalists at a reception & soft drinks all round. A likely story!

Good links but do we need the players' diaries. If they're real then they're bound to be bland & dull.

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  • 4.
  • At 01:12 PM on 07 Jun 2006,
  • Christopher Gale wrote:

You might see another flag in the stands. It's going to be German-Americans holding up both our German and American flags! Go Germany!

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