Friday, 7 July 2006

World cup experience #10 France Portugal 1:0

I was down in Munich for the week on business - running a workshop for a group of countries at a lovely resort about one hour our of Munich. The opportunity came up for a ticket to the game... and it took me less than a nanosecond to say yes!

So far, all of the live games I had seen had been at the Olympia Stadion in Berlin. I was very excited to be going to the brand new (one year old) Allianz Arena in Munich! This state-of-the art facility was supposed to be a great place to watch football, and it was!

The stands are so steep that it took me a minute or two to get used to the height / steepness. After this, it was easy to enjoy the view - and it was clear that our seats near the back would still offer a fantastic view of the game.

It was hot and humid, and the partly enclosed stadium ensured there was no breeze, so it felt very hot!

And what a game! The refereeing was the best I had seen all tournament - he didn't blow fouls for cheap diving, and allowed the game to be played in a tough but fair way. As soon as the Portugese (serial divers) saw the way the game was refereed, they stayed on their feet and played great football. The first half was a pleasure to watch, and Zidane of France is so skillful he is a pleasure to see. It was open and exciting, with one goal from a penalty to France in the first half.

The second half slowed a bit, but with Portugal going to Extra Time against England, it was no surprise! The final result was fitting for the game, and now it is France versus Italy in the final in Berlin next weekend.

After the game, I enjoyed the French celebrations, saw heaps of Aussies (there must be at least a 50 strong population of Green and Gold wearers in Munich for the game!), and stayed in Munich city overnight before heading back out of town to the workshop the next morning.

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