Thursday, June 29, 2006

One man and his log Hannover

Wednesday 29th June Hannover. Berlin

Two days of rest and no football on the agenda.

Arriving back in Berlin the streets seemed very quiet as there was no sign of the thousands of football fans that I left here only a few days ago. Of course there are still some Mexicans to be found in Berlin, as well as other parts of Europe (Amsterdam, Copenhagen & Zurich to name but a few places where Manuel has been during this competition). They were also seen in large numbers at the Spain v France game and I am sure, although they won't have forgiven the Argentinians, that they will be there on Friday as well.

So with time on my hand I went to the Deutsches Historiches Museum, where they just happened to have a temporary exhibition "Das Spiel" (The Game!) of photographs taken at all the World Cups. Some of the highlights included a young Pele in tears after the 1958 final, a Russian who had made his own Jules Rimet trophy and stuck it on a card together with photo of the Russian team to show his support for his team in 1966. And the wonderful shot of Maradona with six Belgium defenders all looking anxious and wondering which way he is going to go.

I came across the Pele Playstation at Potsdam Platz, and had to take a look. After scoring his 1,000 goal, Pele dedicated the feat to the Brazilian children. He has now set up the Pele Pequeno Principe Institute, to provide Child and Adolescent Health Research originally in Brazil, but it has now spread to other countries all the activities are designed to reduce infant mortality rates.

Using Pele's name they are able to raise money and here there was a small collection of memorabilia and a large number of video clips including the Plymouth Argyle v Santos game. Also there just happened to be a small football pitch, but it was in darkness. The problem was solved with luminous bibs and ball!

Thursday 30 th June

OK so definitely no football today.

Well I had seen an exhibition at the Television Museum entitled Tor! So I thought that I should go there. Sure enough the title of the exhibition was Goal! Football and Television. The highlight of the show was the film made by Hellmuth Costard during the 1970/71 season when he filmed George Best for the whole of the game. Focusing solely on his movements throughout the game. I gave up watching after he scored to make it 1-0 in the 55th minute.

Preferring to watch matches at the stadium I haven't had time to visit the Fan Mile in Berlin, so this represented my best chance. Compared to the pictures I had seen the place was desolate. I am sure that tomorrow it will all be so different.

Right in front of the Bundestag, Adidas have built there own Adidas Arena, a smaller version of the Olympic Stadium, and laid on facilities for people to play football! (Just one game of 5-a-side). Whilst I was there Gerd Müller also introduced the latest Gold, Silver and Bronze boots that Adidas will be awarding to the top goalscorers at this years competion.

Copyright (c) Ross Clegg & Soccerphile.com

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