Two World Cups - 5 matches - 17 goals - one elated German fan
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By: Steven Dreger, Winnipeg but blogging from South Africa
Months after initially applying for eight tickets to the 2006 Germany World Cup, I was awarded one ticket to the opening match between Germany and Costa Rica.
Four years later, I was awarded four tickets to Germany matches for the South Africa World Cup.
The Deutscher Adler came flying out of the gates against Australia June 13th. The boys were so precise in their 4-0 triumph; they managed to have a 91.9% successful passing rating.
"Wow, you know your stats," Holger Oscieck to me while we were conversing in Sandton square in Johannesburg. I was sitting with a friend at a cafe enjoying a foamy cappuccino, when I saw Mr. Oscieck, Franz Beckenbauer's assistant coach of the World Champion 1990 German team. He was walking to a meeting, but he was nice enough to stop and give me a stranger, five minutes of his time to talk.
At that time, Holger was the coach of the Canadian men's national team. Holger decided to attend my team Manitoba's match against the Nova Scotian provincial team.
That is where I stopped Holger post game to sign my cotton Germany 1990 jersey.
He was surprised and delighted to sign the jersey. The great thing is that Holger very impressively remembered our encounter in 2001.
Talking to random people "strangers" is very common when you travel alone as I am. In talking to people along my South African trip, I experienced the best part of my time here in Africa. The people in South Africa are the reason why this World Cup was such a success.
All across the map, the people were great representatives for their country. The memory of hospitable and beautiful people will always be sharp in my mind.
When it comes to World Cup memories, I have a new favourite. My past favourite was my sitting Allianz Arena experiencing Philip Lahm's early strike to open the 2006 World Cup. My new favourite is not a moment but the whole 90 minutes against the Argentine team. Sitting inside the stunning Green Point Stadium for the epic match between the two football giants was surreal.
Watching Maradona stressfully pace across his coaches box, having sight of the impressive Table Mountain through the roof of the stadium and of course celebrating the German domination against the powerful Argentine squad was an experience I will cherish forever.
Watching Paraguay play Spain in a Cape Town bar, I will admit that I was cheering strongly for the Paraguayans. I was afraid of the veteran Spaniards. Of course, I was correct in being worried about the match up against the Spanish.
I have fresh emotions still about having my heart broken inside the Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna in 2008. My brother and I sat together and watched as Spain lifted the Euro Cup trophy with red fireworks flying and red confetti falling. Now again, the Spanish have broken my heart in eliminating the promising and impressive German side.
I can't say I wasn't upset about golden boot winner Thomas Mueller being suspended for the semi final against Spain, but I do believe that Spain is an amazing team.
Congratulations to all the Spanish fans, now they can proudly sport the important golden star on their chest from now on.
- Algeria (7)
- Argentina (16)
- Australia (11)
- Brazil (23)
- Cameroon (4)
- Chile (3)
- Denmark (14)
- England (41)
- France (7)
- Germany (25)
- Ghana (19)
- Greece (2)
- Honduras (2)
- Italy (33)
- Ivory Coast (2)
- Japan (6)
- Mexico (4)
- Netherlands (19)
- New Zealand (10)
- Nigeria (15)
- North Korea (4)
- Paraguay (13)
- Portugal (10)
- Serbia (13)
- Slovakia (19)
- Slovenia (12)
- South Africa (7)
- South Korea (11)
- Spain (25)
- Switzerland (8)
- United States (11)
- Uruguay (14)