Soccer/Football: England vs. Germany at Wembley Stadium

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Just to shake things up amidst the pumpkin recipe craziness, here’s a little something different for your weekend reading:

On Tuesday evening, F and I joined C and J at the England vs. Germany International Friendly soccer (football, here/anywhere but the USA) match at Wembley Stadium. Neither F nor I follow football closely, but I always enjoy watching the EuroCup and World Cup. Plus, since Germany was playing in the match we were sold on going. Wembley is also such an iconic stadium — apparently the second biggest in Europe, holding 90,000 people (though “only” 85,000-something attended this match).

After huddling around in the brisk temperatures for a drink and some chips (fries) outside the stadium, we climbed up to Row 30 of Block 504. Despite being six rows from the top of the stadium, the view was actually really good. I had anticipated the players looking like ants, but we could see the whole field, the players, and the ball quite well. There doesn’t seem to be a bad seat in Wembley, in part because the seating is so steeply pitched that you can see over everyone in front of you.

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The match itself was not thrilling, though F and I were happy Germany won, 1-0 (we had to cheer quietly, since we were sitting in the English section). Overall the play was a bit slow and Germany was definitely playing most of their second team, though their passing was still amazingly quick and accurate — one of my favorite parts of the game. One long cross by a German player landed perfectly at his teammate’s feet without the teammate having moved a step…wow. Neither team had a sense of urgency, though, maybe because it was a “friendly” and so the result didn’t really matter (except for “national pride,” as J pointed out).

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The Guardian published an accurate match report that I’ll let you read for the details. It was fun to escape routine on a Tuesday night! It took us ages to get home with the other 85,000 people, but it was worth it for the adventure and the company.

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