Earlier in the year during the summer academy, among the numerous people I met, I became friends with Peio, an exchange student from Spain. In September we decided that we wanted to go see a Bundesliga game while we were here in Germany. The Bundesliga is the top league of German soccer. We were interested in going to see Bayern Munchen play, but the tickets were outrageously expensive, something like 180 euros each for a good seat. Fortunately, Peio’s family connections turned out to be quite beneficial. In turns out that his father was friends with a friend of a local soccer play that recently was transferred to Bayern Munchen. The player turned out be Javi Martinez, which I later found out is the most expensive player in the Bundesliga and kind of a big deal. Anyways Peio managed to get tickets for us from Javi Martinez and that we were going to pick them up from him.
We arrived in Munich the morning before their game and went to the team’s training facility to get the tickets. A slight misunderstanding took place because Peio thought that we were going to get the tickets on the same day as the game, but we were supposed to get them the day before because the player was injured and flying back home for the weekend. What ensued was a very surreal experience for me. Since Peio’s phone had no data, he used my phone to call Javi Martinez and ask him where the tickets were. He said to hand the phone over to one of the officials at the training facility so he could explain the situation. We handed the phone to an employee which got us into the training facilities. We then proceeded to get into contact with one of the assistant coaches of the team, so he could give us the tickets. After an hour of looking for the right person and stumbling into another Bayern Munchen player we finally handed the phone over to one of the assistant coaches. The coach was skeptical at first but once he heard his voice he lead us to the locker room of the team’s training facility. We stepped into the locker room and saw Bastian Schweinsteiger just stepping out of the room. We then proceeded to look into the lockers of players like Ribery, Dante, and Xabi Alonso to find the tickets. Meanwhile my friend was on the phone with Javi Martinez asking about the codes to the lockers. At that moment I really felt like I was in dream, who would have thought that I would be standing in the locker room of one of the most successful teams in the world and sifting through lockers that belonged to gods of the sport?
After taking it all in we finally found the tickets in an envelope in Schweinsteiger’s locker and we made our way to the stadium.
The stadium itself is one of the coolest looking grounds in Europe. Once inside we found that we were sitting in the family section of the stadium. This section was reserved for friends and family of the players. Apart from being only 10 rows from the pitch I had Boateng’s family to my left and sitting in front of me was Guardiola’s wife, the head coach of the team. The game was entertaining and the atmosphere created by over 70,000 people was amazing. The stadium was a sea of red and the cacophony of chants lasted for the whole game. I think that this was the best experience I’ve had so far during my study abroad semester. I couldn’t imagine having this experience anywhere else and it’s just another reason to go and study abroad.