Berlin. Berlin. Wir fahren nach Berlin!

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June 26th 2006
Published: June 26th 2006
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With Paul and DanWith Paul and DanWith Paul and Dan

In Stuttgart

Berlin, Berlin. We're going to Berlin!

Thats what the Germans chant after each victory, and with each victory they seem to believe it more and more. And so they should; they are playing fantastic football with the likes of Klose and Podoloski, lighting up the nation. Each time I walked admidst the jubilant German fans, I thought, well, perhaps Australia is also bound for Berlin. Not something you would say aloud, but if we can score 3 goals in the final 8 minutes against Japan then anything is possible right? Well anything is possible as the last week has proven:

On Thursday we (just) caught the train to Stuttgart and were met by some very familiar faces outside the Stuttgart Station, Paul and Daniella Mirabella. It was quite an odd thing to catch up with them so close to the place I now call home, its not everyday you see someone from home over here. After meeting we quickly headed off in search of some traditional food from the region, in particular my favourite: Maultashen. Maultashen are the German equivalent of ravioli and god they are good. We found a restuarant that was inhabited by quite a
The CroatiansThe CroatiansThe Croatians

Just a few of the Thousands of Croatian fans
few Australians but many more Croatians singing and chanting and maybe eating but mostly singing and chanting. We had some lunch and watched the Italy vs. Czech Republic game. Much to Paul and Dan's dismay Italy won, meaning if Australia got through they would play Italy and Paul and Dan would be in Italy for it.

After that game and a bit of a kick of the footy, Paul and Dan headed for the stadium and I head for the Fan Fest area in the town square. When the game started I think there was 5,000 Aussies and 30,000 Croatians. I had the footy with me and a small game of kick to kick soon escalated into the ball being booted from one side of the town square to the other. Miraculously I actually got the footy back after a while. It was great to see the red ball flying through the air, unfortunately though a few people were caught unaware and copped the thing right in the noggin.

The game was incredibly intense. Each time Croatia got a goal they lit flares and went crazy. As I said the was thousands there and well they looked pretty
The FootyThe FootyThe Footy

Flies through the air in Stuttgart
serious about the whole thing. They all had the lastest edition of the football jumper, whereas the Aussie's seem to have grabbed whatever the owned that was either Green or Yellow. After the match there was Aussies everywhere! It was incredible. The Croatians weren't happy. Stuttgart has a huge Croatian population and I think they were all there. There wasn't too much violence, a few scuffles broke out be were quickly subdued by the 100's of police officers in the city centre. The city was alive with proud and quite drunk Aussie's. A great night! Luckily we were staying with Anja's friend who has an apartment in the inner city so we didn't have far to walk.

I suppose its fair to say that I am as disapointed after the loss to Italy as I was happy after the Croatia win. Its quite a horrible feeling. Four more years?? Now I know how the Americans felt after Bush beat Kerry. Ok, perhaps its not that bad, and as I am sure everybody is saying back home: We did incredibly well to get this far. And we did. These other nations live and breathe football, we did incredibly, incredibly well.
After The GameAfter The GameAfter The Game

With Anja and her friends in Stuttgart.
Well done Socceroos!!

So now I will transfer my hopes and wishes to the host nation to win its 4th World Cup. They have a bit of an omen: Franz Beckenbauer a.k.a The Kaiser played in the 1974 winning team, coached the 1990 winning team and was responsible for bringing the World Cup to Germany in 2006. He is like a God here. He even gets flown by helicopter around the country so he can attend every game!!

Hope everyone is well back home, and well done again to the socceroos!



27th June 2006

Well done Aussies!
Hi Pudd hi John its mum (Linda) I'm not sure where you are at the moment Pudd,(possibly in Canada) as the last blog John entered you were'nt in the pic's but I need to get in contact with you urgently regarding some important documents that you need to sign ASAP. I'v tried to phone but have not been successful. Hi John love the picture of the footy as its flying through the air what a fantastic shot. To be apart of the atmostphere over there would be awsome. John could you please ask Pudd to phone home ASAP, hopefully you will be speaking to him. Love the Blogs. Love Linda xx

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