Erik Durm, You’re Royalty

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“The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.” ― Phil Woosnam

I’ve got to admit… I’m not an avid soccer/ football fan, at least nowhere near football fan status my friend Charlotte has earned in my books — she’s cool. 😉 Other than knowing a couple of rules and a few players, I really am quite clueless. Either way, I somehow found myself in Frankfurt’s Commerzbank on the 7th of May, along with 51,499 other spectators, watching the football match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund.

It’s very different.

It’s very very different — what one sees on the TV and what one experiences when present at the actual venue of an event. There’s an added ambience, an added excitement which comes with the company of other humans’ screams, roars, cheers, applauses and occasional outbursts or scoffs. It gets pretty intense, and to be in the midst of all this action and emotions really takes one to a whole different level of spectatorship.

And my oh my, was it a beautiful stadium

We were all getting ourselves seated as the list of players were flashed on the big monitor in the centre of the stadium. Just as I looked up, they flashed the list of Borussia Dortmund players and I had to take a double take… I could hardly believe my eyes.

#37: ERIK DURM

I remember a few years ago when I saw Erik Durm playing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup (Germany took the trophy for this one!!!!) and how I couldn’t take my eyes off my TV set for the remaining time of the match… He looked so good. 🙈

Seeing his name on the screen really got me pumped up for the match. I know I know, wrong reasons, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. There’s just something about athletes that make them so effortlessly charming.

It seems that soccer tournaments create those relationships: people gathered together in pubs and living rooms, a whole country suddenly caring about the same event. A World Cup is the sort of common project that otherwise barely exists in modern societies. 
― Simon Kuper, Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey–and Even Iraq–Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport

German ‘football anthems’ were sung before the start of the match and it was then that everyone stood up and raised their team’s ‘shawls’. For instance, those supporting Eintracht Frankfurt had shawls which read, “EINTRACHT FRANKFURT; MEINE STADT, MEIN VEREIN, MEINE EINTRACHT”.

Henni Nachtsheim’s “ist mir Egal” was one of the anthems played, and to which everyone knew the lyrics to. The atmosphere was electric.

Ist mir egal wo du stehst,
egal wohin du gehst!
Mein Herz schlägt für Eintracht Frankfurt!
Ist mir egal wo du stehst,
egal wohin du gehst!
Mein Herz schlägt nur für dich!

I remember seeing one guy placing his clenched right fist over his heart as he sang the anthem. It truly is more than just a game for some… To feel so much passion for something is such a wonderful part of living, I figured. To be able to feel so much, experience so much, and be part of something that means so much.

The thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football. ― Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals

I found out that things could sometimes get so intense during matches that glass beer mugs have been banned. The possibility of the glass posing as a threat for safety (e.g. Say if a fight were to suddenly break out between fans of opposing teams) is real!

ENDSTAND:

Eintracht Frankfurt 1 vs.Borussia Dortmund 0

It was a surprise, considering Dortmund was ranked second in the Bundesliga, right behind Bayern München (woohoo!! 🎉).

A report, called The Football Passions, summarises extensive sociological research across 18 countries in Europe. The research revealed that while there are differences between countries in the way fans express their emotions and behaviour, we ultimately all speak one language, the language of football. The research, however, did unearth a number of quirks and national differences that may challenge our conventional stereotypes.

Read more about this amusing article here: Football Passions  😉

More cool shots on Flickr.

And a few more links on the match…

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