First beer and final blog
- 9 Jul 06, 06:11 PM
The World Cup final was the 16th match I’ve covered in 31 days at 11 different locations travelling around Germany on my own.
From the very first game between Germany and Costa Rica the atmosphere created by the host nation and all the other countries has been amazing.
Some might say the football has not been the best and the quality has faded slightly after the promising group stages.
Saudi Arabia v Spain was definitely not a highlight and Holland v Argentina turned out to be a bit of a letdown.
But on the whole it is the football and atmosphere that has helped see me through the trip.
The three German games were all momentous events and a lot has been made of a liberation which has taken place among the host nation's fans.
The Germans have paraded a patriotic pride which many have said they have felt guilty about showing in the past.
They celebrated third place almost like winning the World Cup and it seems this tournament has been more than just football to them.
Argentina made captivating viewing as they proved by their sublime 24-pass goal against Serbia & Montenegro as well as their match against Mexico.
Portugal and the Netherlands turned their match into a war of attrition while Italy’s win over Germany made for an engrossing spectacle.
It has been a massive adventure and the best working experience of my life.
Yes, even better than covering Luton, Watford and Stevenage when I first started out in journalism!!
But I'm not going to lie and say it's been a brilliant trip all the way though as it's been quite tough.
My two constant companions have been my rucksack and suitcase with no more than two nights in one location and a phenomenal amount of time on trains.
Getting a seat on some of the journeys has been a mission in itself and I think I’ve still got the groove of my suitcase handle engrained on my rear after having to sit on it during one four-hour trip.
The straps of my rucksack have each snapped and, although it has lasted this long, I feel it's had its day.
I had my first beer when I hooked up with Phil, Fletch and Ricco the night before the final and, after more than four weeks on my lonesome, I even looked forward to seeing them!!
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as me and Auf Wiedersen.