• 2016.11.22
  • A football game
Football is the most popular sport in Germany.

There are around 690 000 people, ranging from children to elder people, who are members of football associations. Being a member means to play football on your own, to support your team, or to do both. In the 2015/2016 season, additional 42 000 people with a foreign nationality, amongst them also refugees, joined the football associations. That clearly shows the inclusive power of football.

For the first time, last Saturday, I went to Berlins` Olympia Stadium to see a first league football game of Hertha Berlin against 1. FC Köln.

The Bundesligas’ first league consists of 18 clubs, that can get relegated to the second league, if they play a bad season. Hertha is also one of the clubs that got relegated and promoted several times.

Like the majority of clubs, founded in 1892, Hertha is a club with tradition.

Even though it is normal to raise future players from the youth divisions in the Bundesliga, there are also many players that were bought from other clubs or from outside of Germany.

For example, since the 2014/2015 season the Japanese player Haraguchi Genki is playing in Hertha.

Herthas home stadium is the famous Olympia Stadium, which was build for the 1936 Olympics, during the NS era. Therefore it is built in the rigor architectural style that is typical for this era.

A football game does not just start after arriving at the stadium, but already on the way, where you can see more and more people wearing the blue and white team colors getting on the train. Köln Fans driving with us already started to sing their songs in the train and everybody around us was talking about football. When we arrived, all the people were pushed together while they rushed towards the stadium.

the picture before the game starts from the place where the Olympia Stadium is open

On the current Bundesliga table, Hertha is on the second place while Köln on the 4th. So, it was a top game. Although Hertha is not always that great of a team, there are many fans that support the team through ups and down over the years.

I have a friend, who holds a season tickets and I was able to go instead of one of his friends who was actually meant to join but unable to attend. With these season cards you are able to watch matches over the whole season and a great number of people enlarge their tickets year after year.

That means that these fans are sitting on the same seats, next to the same people every weekend.

On the seats in front of us were two old men who ate their homemade lunch pack during the half time break. Behind us were two self-proclaimed football experts, who kept commenting continually from the beginning until the end. Next to the old men with the lunch pack, was a father with his approximately 15-year-old son, who always enviously glanced at the Ostkurve and would have probably preferred to sit there.

The Ostkurve (East Curve) is part of the home block, where the cheering is the loudest and most exciting and where there are a lot of flags being waived by the team supporters. The stadium is divided into a lot of different blocks among them there is also a family block.

Even though the Ostkurve might be the liveliest, the whole stadium is nonetheless overall enthusiastic and all cheer their team.

Ostkurve in the right direction from our seat

It is not bad to watch football with friends at home or in a pub, but watching it in the stadium is a completely different thing.

In television you can see the game from a much closer point of view and you are for example able to understand well, whether it really had been a foul or not, but on the other hand all those repetitions interrupt the game itself.

So, as you might have already noticed, this time I got overwhelmed by the feeling of being soaked into the atmosphere of the stadium, and therefore this will not have been the last football game for me.


  • Mara Groner
  • JobResearcher, Tour guide

Although I was born and raised in south Germany, I’ve been living for about 10 years in Berlin where I also work as a tour guide. In this dynamic city there is always something to discover.

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