I’ve always found the psychological dynamics of football fans fascinating. Many fans develop a strong loyalty to their team – often FOREVER! I’m an emotional person, and whenever I join my husband, who has been a loyal Fortuna Düsseldorf fan since he was twelve years old, the atmosphere and solidarity between the fans always touches me. Even though I don’t follow the Premier League, Champions League or the Bundesliga, I enjoy watching a Fortuna Düsseldorf match every now and then on TV, or at a stadium with my husband and son.
However, I don’t like the aggressive behaviour conducted by some fans, and the culture of hooliganism that has tainted the game. Luckily, whenever I’ve been to a game, I’ve been surrounded by some good fans that have helped create a positive vibe in the stadium.
Two Brits experiencing the love from F95 fans
Swapping an Arsenal and Luton kit for an F95 shirt
In November last year, my husband arranged a weekend away to Munich with his mates. It didn’t take him long to convince two of his British friends (one being an Arsenal fan, and the other a Luton fan) to join him in Munich to see a match. My husband organised a full-on Fortuna weekend where they could meet some of his mates, who are also huge Fortuna Düsseldorf fans. So, off they went on an early morning flight from London-Stansted to Munich. Morning flight, morning beer! Here we come!
A strong and grounded coach
Fortuna Düsseldorf – a surprise in the first Bundesliga
Düsseldorf is currently in the first Bundesliga after an exciting, and very successful, move up from the second Bundesliga last season. So, you can imagine the Düsseldorf fans’ euphoria as they celebrate being in the higher league – especially as no one in the football world expected this to happen. The club was founded in 1895, and has been managed by Friedhelm Funkel since March 2016. The 65-year-old coach is respected and well-liked by all the players, and certainly deserves a big pat on the back for getting the team to where they are today.
Positive vibes before the match
Respect for FC Bayern München
You can imagine how many Düsseldorf fans travelled to Munich to see their team play against Bayern Munich on Saturday 24th November. With many of the fans driving south, or taking the train, and some flying in from various parts of Germany, as well as other places in Europe. Reading the comments in the media prior to the match, and watching the Düsseldorf players and fans being interviewed – the message was clear, ‘It’ll be a fantastic game, whatever the result!’ A few years ago, the F95 team would never have dreamed of playing in the first Bundesliga, so there weren’t the huge expectations attached to the game.
A full-on football weekend in Munich
A perfect itinerary for football-mad lads
For his trip, my husband booked a basic hotel close to Munich’s city centre and the train station (Bayer’s hotel). We stayed there again on a quick stopover to Austria in February, and I think the location is perfect if you’re travelling by train. Although the area around the train station is not particularly nice, but the convenience of being within walking distance to the main train station, as well as Stachus and Marienplatz squares is great.
A Bavarian brewery – a MUST on a trip to Munich
On the Friday evening, the trio went to the Augustiner brewery and Bratwurst Glöckl am Dom for dinner, which are some of our favourite places in Munich. Here, you can enjoy a typical Bavarian meal in a cosy atmosphere. There were already around 500 Fortuna fans singing and preparing themselves for the next day when they arrived. My husband introduced his British mates to his group, and it didn’t seem to matter that they were speaking English all evening! They both said that they had a fantastic evening, and that they were overwhelmed by the friendliness of everyone. I don’t know why football fans always like to consume excessive amounts of beer, so there was no shortage of Weizen beer and Helles (lager) being drunk that evening!
Emotional moments in Munich
They felt the ‘love’ amongst the fans
On the Saturday, they decided to have something substantial for lunch, so they went back to the Andechser am Dom. The ‘Gourmet Teller’ was the meal of choice for all three – followed by, or should I say, accompanied by, quite a few beers. After lunch, the Glühwein (mulled wine) stall was calling the lads over, where they bumped into the first of the Fortuna fans. My husband was wearing an F95 Christmas jumper, and was delighted to find someone wearing the same jumper. He even sent me a picture saying, ‘Look, someone else has got the same jumper!’ I just replied, ‘Wow! AMAZING!’ (trying not to deflate his excitement). The lady on the stall was very impressed by the enthusiasm and support of my husband’s British friends. She even gave one of them her hand-knitted F95 scarf as a thank you for supporting Fortuna Düsseldorf! How lovely! 😊
Today’s the day – off to the stadium for a 3.30 kick-off
The Allianz Arena was heaving
At about 2pm, all the fans made their way to the AllianzArena, singing and chanting on the tube (U-Bahn). My husband described this experience as ‘unbelievable’. The game was a sell-out, with around 10,000 Fortuna Düsseldorf fans, and 75,000 visitors in total.
In the seventeenth minute, disappointed fans watched Niklas Süle score for Bayern Munich, and then three minutes later, Thomas Müller added to the score to make it 2:0. In the forty-fourth minute, F95 fans shouted ‘TOOOOOOR!!!’ when Dodi Lukebakio scored for Fortuna Düsseldorf.
In the second half, Thomas Müller scored again for Bayern Munich – making it 3:1. Luckily, Lukebakio was on top form, and scored another goal for Fortuna Düsseldorf in the seventy-seventh minute. Fans did, however, wait with bated breath as it was initially thought the goal had been offside. After checking the video ref, the goal was allowed; making the score 3:2. The same player then finished the match off with another goal in extra time; making the final score 3:3. Fans from both teams agreed that it was a fair result, and a first-class game. Now, they were all ready to celebrate in Munich’s city centre.
Let’s all celebrate together
How the party continued in the Bavarian breweries and an Irish Pub
Despite some minor disputes, the general atmosphere between the fans was very positive. The party atmosphere continued for my husband, and all his friends, at the Andechser am Dom, the Augustiner, and at the Irish Pub. Bayern Munich and Fortuna Düsseldorf fans were even hugging and kissing each other! They clearly had an unforgettable time together – so much so that they are already talking about another trip – sooner, rather than later.
If you’re a football fan, or you’re looking for a present for someone who is, I can highly recommend booking a trip to see a match, and perhaps combining it with a little city break. I’ve asked my husband what matches he would recommend going to. He has given an extensive list of must-see matches until the end of the season. According to him, matches in Dortmund are always fantastic to watch, and the last Fortuna Düsseldorf match against Hannover should be an interesting one as it will decide whether or not Fortuna should stay in the first Bundesliga. Another good team to mention is Eintracht Frankfurt, who are doing really well this season. Please contact me if you have any questions when it comes to planning an itinerary.
Top upcoming first Bundesliga matches:
6th April 2019
FC Schalke 04 : Eintracht Frankfurt in Gelsenkirchen (Veltins Arena)
Hertha BSC: F95 in Berlin (Olympiastadion)
14th April 2019
Eintracht Frankfurt : FC Augsburg in Frankfurt (Commerzbank Arena)
F95 : FC Bayern München in Düsseldorf (Merkur Spiel-Arena)
20th April 2019
- FSV Mainz 05 : F95 in Mainz (Opel Arena)
22nd April 2019
VFL Wolfsburg : Eintracht Frankfurt in Wolfsburg (Volkswagen Arena)
27th April 2019
Borussia Dortmund : FC Schalke 04 in Dortmund (Signal Iduna Park)
F95 : SV Werder Bremen in Düsseldorf (Merkur Spiel-Arena)
Eintracht Frankfurt : Hertha BSC in Frankfurt (Commerzbank Arena)
5th May 2019
Bayer 04 Leverkusen : Eintracht Frankfurt in Leverkusen (BayArena)
Freiburg : F95 in Freiburg in Freiburg (Schwarzwaldstadion)
11th May 2019
Eintracht Frankfurt : 1. FSV Mainz 05 in Frankfurt (Commerzbank Arena)
Borussia Dortmund : F95 in Dortmund (Signal Iduna Park)
18th May 2019
FC Bayern München : Eintracht Frankfurt in Munich (Allianz Arena)
F95 : Hannover 96 in Düsseldorf (Merkur Spiel-Arena)
Top upcoming second Bundesliga matches:
2nd April 2019
Hamburger SV : SC Paderborn in Paderborn (Benteler Arena)
8th April 2019
Hamburger SV: 1. FC Magdeburg in Hamburg (Volksparkstadium)
15th April 2019
- FC Köln: Hamburger SV in Cologne (RheinEnergie Stadion)
20th April 2019
Hamburger SV : Erzgebirge Aue in Hamburg (Volksparkstadion)
21st April 2019
Dynamo Dresden : 1. FC Köln in Dresden (Glücksgas Stadion)
26th April 2019
FC Köln : SV Darmstadt in Cologne (RheinEnergie Stadion)
28th April 2019
Union Berlin : Hamburger SV in Berlin (An der alten Forsterei)
4th May 2019
Hamburger SV: FC Ingolstadt in Hamburg (Volksparkstadion)
6th May 2019
SpVGG Greuther Fürth: 1. FC Köln in Fürth (Sportpark Ronhof)
12th May 2019
1.FC Köln : SSV Jahn Regensburg in Cologne (RheinEnergie Stadion)
SC Paderborn : Hamburger SV in Paderborn (Benteler Arena)
19th May 2019
1. FC Magdeburg: 1. FC Köln in Magdeburg (MDCC Arena)
Hamburger SV : MSV Duisburg in Hamburg (Volksparkstadion)