Saturday, October 3, 2009

Eintracht Soccer

We’d been wanting to go to a soccer game here in Frankfurt at some point and as luck would have it, the opportunity came up during the very same week that we hosted four of our family/friends.  There are two soccer teams in Frankfurt: a first division team in the Bundesliga (German national soccer league) called Eintracht and a second division team called FSV Frankfurt.  Typically, one game per week is played on either Saturday or Sunday.  The season runs throughout the Fall and into the early Winter.

Soccer, or Fussball as it’s known over here, has an interesting schedule in that every few weeks or so there is a bye week dedicated to World Cup qualification so the players have a chance to help their home countries qualify for the World Cup.  Additionally, there is also a season-long tournament, called DFB Pokal, that is open to practically any team in Germany to see which team is truly the best team in the country.  An equivalent would be a college football tournament that allowed teams from all divisions and even amateur teams to compete against each other in a single-elimination format. 

So, the game that we attended was actually a DFB Pokal match on a Wednesday against Alemannia Aachen – a second division team.  The stadium, Commerzbank Arena (formerly Waldstadion or “Forest Stadium”), seats 52,300 in a covered venue literally in the woods in the south of Frankfurt.  Normally the game would be sold out, but because it was during the week and not a first division match, there were plenty of seats available.  We paid 20 Euros to sit behind the goals and up at the top of the stadium.  However, there really wasn’t a bad seat in the house and we were right in the middle of the Frankfurt cheering section. 

Although the stadium wasn’t close to full, there was plenty of energy in the crowd.  The coolest part was all of the cheers and songs that everyone knew by heart (except for us that is).  A guy on his own P.A. system led the cheers from the standing section below and he literally never stopped through the entire match.  There were songs with clapping, songs with fists pumping, and songs with swaying and pretty much everyone participated.  I will say that at times the guy’s voice was a bit shrill in a thick German accent and tone that resembled the footage of an old Nazi rally from the 30’s and 40’s – scary.  We lucked out, choosing a game where 10 total goals were scored.  In the end, Frankfurt came out on top 6-4. Enjoy the video below.

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