I’m the only German who didn’t see the semi-final game against Brazil. Or, rather, I only saw the first five and the last ten minutes of the great Germany Brazil game. The only goal I saw was the Brazilian one.
Here’s why. I stupidly booked a plane ticket from Newcastle to Bristol for the night of the game. I caught the national anthems and kick-off at a bar at the airport and saw Brazil pressing ahead. My flight was called. By the time I had reached the gate, my friend texted me that it was “1 niiiil. Mueller.” Great! Müller is my favourite player. He just loves to play football, and you can see his excitement. No bullshit, no attitude.
We board the plane, I sit down, 22B. Next text message: „2:0!!! Klooooose!“ I giggle, but hey, it’s a plane, middle seat, no jumping up and down. Phone switched off I am feeling somewhat intoxicated, thinking that all will be well. We roll onto the airfield, and my neighbour performs a sudden fit and utters a very un-airplane-daze sound.
„2:0, eh. Great, isn’t it”, I say naively.
„No. Five nil.”
I stare at his screen in absolute amazement. We have an hourlong conversation about possible reasons (three red cards for Brazilian players?) and speculate about the outcome – 10:0 by the time we get to Bristol? Even 5:0 was sensational.
Landing in Bristol, we realize with a moment of paradoxical calmness that it is still „just“ 5:0 to Germany against Brazil, at a World-Cup semifinal. Coming down the stairs I check my messages: „3:0!!!!!!“ and „Four!!!!!!“ and „FIVE NIL!!!!!“
Then something odd happens. On the shuttle bus to the terminal, the next message reads: „6“. Plain simple. Just another goal. Just another goal I missed in the most exciting game that I will ever have missed.
By the time I pick up my luggage, I hear another message and don’t even bother checking it. Pacing through customs for the bar and a TV screen, I am bracing myself for the excitement. In a panic, I accidentally delete my entire inbox, trying to free up space for more messages. Oh well.
TV screen, finally. 7:0. Various people with stunned looks on their faces.
„Is that the score?“
And then Oscar scores. First goal I see tonight. Great.
But let me tell you this: the first football match I remember watching as a small child was the 1986 final against Argentina. I remember it to this day. And I will remember Sunday’s final too. Because I’ll watch it, and Germany wird Weltmeister!