“Football is a game of mistakes. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins”- Johan Cruyff
If you are a football lover and you are in Munich, you won’t miss the so-called home of Bavarians – The Allianz Arena. Allianz Arena is one of the spectacular football stadiums in the world situated in the northern part of the City of Munich and the home of the Bayern München football club. This is the first stadium in the world with a full-color changing exterior. A European financial services company Allianz purchased the naming rights to the stadium for 30 years. That’s why the arena called as Allianz Arena. But they can’t use the name when hosting FIFA and UEFA events, though!
The dream comes true
Since football is something I am always passionate about and I was constantly searching for an opportunity to watch a live match in the stadium and in 2015 September my dream get fulfilled by watching the UEFA Champions League match in Allianz Arena between GNK Dinamo Zagreb (from Croatia) and FC Bayern München. One can say its very easy but its totally difficult to get it done, but luck was on our side at that time, because one of our colleague in Germany arranged two tickets for us. I had visited Allianz Arena before, even though I was so excited to watch a live match in that wonderful stadium.
Journey to the Arena
So after our office hours I and my friend Thomas took the U-Bahn (U6) to Fröttmaning [I will have another post for how to reach Allianz Arena] with a train full of away fans, they were singing all the time and some of the Bayern fans have joined them as well. After arriving at the Fröttmaning station, we had to walk almost 1.2 Km to the stadium and on the way we can see a lot of touts selling tickets, but our colleagues had already warned us that beware of those ones.
The arena is really impressive inside, a well built three-tier architecture with 69,901 seats arranged in steep banks to bring spectators as close as possible to the action. Seats are protected from the weather by a partial roof that admits sunlight and leaves the natural-grass pitch open to the sky, although winds can still blow rain onto some of the seats.
On days when there are no matches are scheduled, you can take an Arena English Tour for a reasonable fee. The tour includes a film about the construction of the arena, followed by visits to the players’ dressing rooms, the player tunnel, the press club, commentators’ positions, seating areas, and private boxes, which I would say is a must if you are a first timer in the Arena. You can check the tour timings in the official Allianz Arena website (https://allianz-arena.com/en/). Or you can visit Markenwelt” or “World of Brands” shops, eat at the Restaurant Arena A La Carte or Kiosk 6, or let your kids sample the Lego Spielwelt.
We were at the upper tier with the home fans behind the goal post, and below us the lower tier, in the standing fans area there were thousands of them. They were awesome throughout the match jumping and dancing with big flags, it seems like an ocean of red. The fans were quite friendly and they were very curious to know about us, once they came to know that I am an Indian and a fan of the Bundesliga and Bayern München, I could see a surprised look and brotherhood in their eyes.
Stern des Südens (Star of the South)
On that day, Robert Lewandowski’s incredible goal scoring as the striker’s hat-trick helped Bayern Munich thrash Dinamo Zagreb 5-0. In the first half, we were sitting behind Manuel Neuer’s goal post and we saw goals from Douglas Costa, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski’s two goals on the opposite side of the pitch which had given the German giants a 4-0 lead at half-time and 10 minutes later of second half, we have witnessed the incredible Polish finished his hattrick.
The sound of joy inside the Arena was awesome whenever Bayern has scored; you can feel the stadium erupts each time when they score. And also you can hear a lot of Oh’s and aww’s when they missed an opportunity. It feels like a lifetime experience for us.
Meanwhile, that night I was sitting in my room, I feel incredibly happier than ever before and my heart filled with endless amount of adoration towards the players who had shed their sweat on the ground a while before.
I could live in this dream forever, its still lingers like a scar in my head and that’s football!
“Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone. We are legion, and football is often the only thing we have in common.”- Hunter S. Thompson
-Track The Trails