Football Travel: Hertha Berlin

The Olympiastadion in Berlin is where sporting history is made. It’s where Jesse Owens incensed Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics, and where Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi 70 years later in the World Cup final. It’s also been the home to Hertha Berlin since the foundation of the Bundesliga in 1963.

 

There’s a whiff of glühwein, currywürst and Dutch tobacco on the chill wind as it swirls around the Olympiastadion. Flags flutter, waiting for kick-off; men in double-denim compete for whom has the most blue-and-white scarves draped off their belt. It’s a cold March night but Hertha Berlin fans are in good voice, launching into their version of Rod Stewart’s “Sailing”. [Continues…]

 

Olympiastadion Berlin

The imposing Olympiastadion, Berlin

It’s good to be in the light after what is surely the darkest approach to any stadium I can remember through a forest and car park from the U-Bahn station, but to be greeted by the Olympic rings is something special.

 

Tonight’s opponent is Eintracht Frankfurt. I shared a carriage with some high-spirited but polite and good-natured Eintracht fans on the way to the match. They are in good numbers on the far side of the ground, barely audible due in part to their remote location but also due to the boisterous home Ostkurve. I doubt the American tourists behind me have seen anything like it before. [Continues…]

 

                        

They – like the rest of us – would be disappointed with the first half: messy rubbish from both sides with few chances. Just when you think it’s one of those games that’s going to be decided by an error, you’re proved wrong by two cracking strikes for Hertha. First, Mitchell Weiser driving in a cross off the bar from 10 yards just after the hour mark, then Salomon Kalou (remember him?) with a virtuoso run and finish from the half-way line on 78 mins. [Continues…]

 

Hertha v Eintracht

Hertha v Eintracht

It finished 2-0 to Hertha. The Olympiastadion can seat 74,000, but tonight there were just 36,608 in attendance. I bought my ticket from Hertha’s online ticket office for €27 with a print at home option.

 

How to get to Hertha Berlin

The Olympia-Stadion U-Bahn station is served by the U2 line and is around 30 minutes from the centre of Berlin (Potsdamer Platz).

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