Merlin`s Munich Blog (Part 4)
Gathering my senses and tearing myself away from that memorable night in May and returning to the present day, my head was starting to be bombarded with a plethora of facts about the Allianz Arena.
Bernhard, our tour guide, took great delight in telling us that the Allianz Arena holds 71,000 spectators and that it was originally designed to be joint-owned by Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munch, unfortunately the latter suffered relegation and now play in the division below the Bundesliga. Therefore, the lesser of the two teams in Munich, only rent their part of the ground.
With regards to match tickets, Bernhard informed us that there is very little chance of obtaining any as ALL tickets for ALL games were sold as far back as July, some feat I think you`ll agree.
Bernhard, now in full flow, decided that he`d show off the acoustics of the Allianz Arena. Selecting certain individuals he asked which teams they supported. Off course there just had to be a Manchester United supporter in our midst whilst he was also fortunate (or was it a plant?) to select an Arsenal supporter, the very team Bayern was playing that evening.
Much to my disappointment, Bernhard never asked me who I supported. I`d imagine the response,
"Chelsea and I`m here on a pilgrimage"
might not have gone down very well. Continuing we were asked, our little group of 40 or so, to imagine our favourite team had just scored a goal and act accordingly. So, after a count of three and aware we looked like potential inmates in a funny farm, we all shouted goal and this quite impressive noise echoed around the empty stadium, once again returning me to that night of 19th May and imagining the intense pressure Juan Mata, David Luiz, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba faced as our 'hosts` yearned for their beloved Bayern to bring home the very trophy we craved.
Returning to the middle tier concourse, we were soon dropping down a level to where the sponsors seats were, stretching quite a way either side of the halfway line. These seats, as you`d expect for privileged backsides, were padded. However, the fact that they stretched right down to the front meaning the incumbents got wet when it rained brought a wry smile to my face.
Looking towards the dug-outs, I could only imagine the suspense that penalty shoot-out created on that wonderful night and looking upwards into the vast arena, it really is hard to contemplate whether there really was a better venue to finally achieve something us old boys could only dream of.
Stay with me folks, in the next part we`re off to the dressing room and some more revelations!