There is a buzz in the air as Germany tries to win its first World Cup in 24 years! The buildup began back in May, after the end of the Bundesliga and club season. You started to hear about the Deutscher Nationalmannschaft (German National Team) every day – how their training was going in Tirol, hearing about their coach Joachim “Jogi” Low (including about his speeding tickets…), about the team, injuries and most importantly, if they could win their 4th World Cup – #VierfeurVier was the hashtag. There were promotions at the supermarket and even handouts at the local bank in preparation. The world cup was still weeks away but it felt like it had already started.
Fast forward to the start of the Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft (World Cup) and more flags started to appear all over the place – on houses, on cars, and painted on faces game day. One of the most popular places to display the flag was new to us, on side view mirrors! They are a cheap “zip on” version.
As you approach game day these items would appear more and more. The coverage was all over the radio, on TV, and in the newspapers. Our favourite German morning show, Morgenmagazine, started to broadcast from Brasilien an der Ostsee (Brazil, Germany) with their set all decked out in Black, Red, and Yellow. The Germans really don’t have a huge sense of humor about things normally, but this name association seemed to really be quite the thing. Das Bild, a popular daily paper, has had its massive headline of the day about the World Cup nearly everyday.
Even our small town of 100 people was busier than normal. The day of the Germany vs. Ghana game we attended the Fire department festival. People were dressed in their jerseys, with their faces painted and flags were out waving.
During the games when Germany scores you can hear the cheers and the air horns. There are viewing parties everywhere in the larger cities. In Kaiserslautern, Fritz-Walter stadium (home of FC Kaiserslautern) hosted them for each Germany game free of charge and would get several thousand fans. After all, the stadium was renovated for the 2006 World Cup, where it hosted 5 matches. Miroslav Klose once placed for FCK, and was raised in nearby Kusel, and now he is the all team leading scorer in the World Cup.
After each Germany win, it is the talk of the town so to speak, replaying the goal calls on the radio and interviewing fans. It is exciting living in a country that appreciates its Fußball so much, after all it is the most popular sport in the world, hands down. It is the only sport covered extensively over here. Whether it is the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Champions league, or Nationalmannschaft, they love their soccer here, and it has been a great experience to live here and see their team succeed on the world’s biggest stage!