BERLIN - The French fans buried their faces in their hands as they saw Zinedine Zidane dispatched from the World Cup final, knowing it may have cost them victory.
None could explain his "idiotic act", but at the same time, they insisted France would remember him as a legend, and would not turn against him.
Continue reading "French stunned by Zidane"
ON THE WAY TO BERLIN - With Italian football mired in alleged corruption, would it not be a travesty of justice for Italy to walk off with the World Cup trophy on Sunday?
It’s a question I’ve been putting to Italian fans in Germany all this week. Not surprisingly, they dismiss the question out of hand.
Continue reading "Would Italian victory be just?"
DORTMUND - Germany’s optimism has until now been tempered by caution. Not any more.
Ahead of the semi-final against Italy here tonight, Germans are wholly confident they can progress to the final. Every Italian I’ve met says exactly the same thing about Italy.
Continue reading "Spaghetti-kicking out of step"
BERLIN - The German newspapers have invoked Jurgen Klinsmann's call for passion in today's quarter-final with Argentina.
Der Tagesspiegel promises "a German tango", saying stereotypes will be over-turned as the home team's "fire and intensity trumps the Latin Americans' controlled game".
"Close to Heaven," is the paper's headline and it's a feeling shared by many supporters.
Continue reading ""Argentina shaking in front of hands of God""
BERLIN - Unexpected interest in the German escalator phenomenon obliges me to explain. (Though Eva did a pretty good job in her response to my last post.)
Basically the escalators don't move until someone approaches, when sensors pick up the movement. If you're at the bottom, it then carries you up. If you're at the top, it carries you down, unless there's already someone on the way up, in which case you have to wait till they get off.
Continue reading "Lovin' an escalator"
BERLIN - You know when you go abroad and see an idea so simple you think "why don’t we do that at home?"
Well some German boffin with a fondness for his ale has come up with these plastic glasses being used at some stadiums and Fan Fests.
Continue reading "A brilliant beer beaker, eureka!"
JUST ARRIVED IN MUNICH - It’s a strange return to Munich for Patrik Andersson, the Swedish giant who helped Bayern win the Champions League final in 2001.
On his first visit to the city since he left the club after that triumph, I asked him if he’s fondly remembered here. “I hope so, because I decided the championship for Bayern,” he said, in reference to his last minute equaliser in the final Bundesliga match in the same season.
Continue reading "Patrik's second homecoming"
Normally confined to the newsroom in London, as a reporter for the BBC News website's world desk, I can't wait to join the party in Germany.
Unfortunately, I'm not flying in till the later stages, so have fingers crossed that England last that long.
I'm actually following some of the other teams in the tournament, so won't be on the trail of England or their fans (it has been suggested this might not be a bad thing..?)
Reckon Italy look good value at 15/2 for the tournament. (Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about..?)