World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Anyone need a swapsie ?

matthew_roberts.gifCOLOGNE Because 69-year-old Frau Betz has well over a million football stickers - and it looked like almost as many left to swap. We went and filmed her last week for a piece for Match of the Day and we've been talking about little else since.

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Good Morning Cologne..

matthew_roberts.gifCOLOGNE - Went to the Portugal v Angola match, which wasn't in the same league as last night's Sweden-Trini match (which must make it into the all-time top ten 0-0 matches list ) but was still a good one - and had the major plus point of unearthing one of the gems of this tournament - Stadium announcer Michael.

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SWEDE NOTHING

matthew_roberts.gifDORTMUND - Lot's of debate on what to title this blog entry, so it's open to a vote at the the bottom. But first what a a game !! Sweden against Trinidad and Tobago was just an absolute epic. Great ground, great atmopshere and the right result. It was one of those games it was just fantsastic to be at and everyone in the ground loved it. We were lucky enough to interview some of the Trinidad player's afterwards and they'd just loved every second.

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Tight Lippi

matthew_roberts.gifDUISBURG - There's nothing quite like a day with the Italians. Today it was the usual high octane mix of hundreds of journalists, manic press conferences and great sandwiches provided by the Italian FA.

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Little slice of Italy

matthew_roberts.gifCOLOGNE - We're waiting for the Italiam team to arrive in Germany tonight, but in the meantime we took the chance to have a look around their hotel, which is owned by an Italian straight out of the Soprano's.

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Poll opinion

matthew_roberts.gif FRANKFURT - With both teams we're covering (Italy and France) still not in Germany, we went down to the secluded referee's base to speak to England's man in black (and a rather fetching yellow outfit judging by what was on display) Graham Poll.

He says that the referee's have been told to crackdown on lunging tackles, dangerous elbows and players sauntering off the pitch when they've been substituted - so get your spread bets ready for lots of yellow cards in the early matches.

Came back to Cologne yesterday evening. There is a slighly strange lack of World Cup excitement. Not many posters, bunting etc -although a big screen is going up next to our hotel so I may live to regret those words.

Reporter Gaskers arrived last last night - although his suitcase was last seen seen on a baggage carousel in Amsterdam. We're trying to track down some T-Shirts which you can get out here bearing the legend "Never Mind the Ballacks". Surely the new fashion item for all Chelsea fans.

Next stop Cologne

matthew_roberts.gif
LONDON - so, after some final preparations, we're all packed to fly to Germany in the morning. We've been trying to work out how to use our new camera this week. It's entirely digital and is the first time we've used it - so there's a kind of `Michael Owen' like pressure on cameraman Twammers to deliver. Like Sven, there really is no Plan B.

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About Matthew Roberts

matthew_roberts.gifI'm an Assistant Producer working for BBC TV Sport. I used to work as a journalist for BBC News and, before that, ITV News.

In Germany, I'm looking after one of our roving TV teams as we travel to various locations doing reports on different teams ahead of their matches, as well as going to matches to do interviews and filming for World Cup Match of the Day. There'll be four of us working as part of the team. Ivan Gaskell is the reporter (henceforth known as Gaskers), Cameraman Sean Twamley (Twammers) and picture editor Paul Hagan (you guessed it - Hagers).

We're going to be based in Cologne, in the West. There are 3 World Cup Stadiums in quite a small area (Cologne, Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen) and a lot of teams staying in the area, so we're going to be working flat out (we're already arguing about the driving) and stretching my GCSE German well beyond breaking point.

Personally, I can't wait for the tournament to start. Previous World Cup highlights have included being thrown into a hedge after a misunderstanding (!) with a Japanese satellite engineer, trying to film 5m Korean football fans partying in the streets of Seoul and sharing the breakfast buffet with Nancy Dell'Olio.

A cracking summer awaits. . .

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