If there was a Champions League for bitterness in defeat, Bayern Munich would have five gold stars embroidered on their shirts. The cocky Krauts thought all they had to do was turn up in their stadium to collect their cup before a raucous Sunday parade transformed their city into a riot of colour and bravado. Sorry chums, the parade was 570 miles away.
Make no mistake, May’s Final hurt and it hurt bad. Bastien Schweinsteiger, Bayern’s golden boy and playmaker, was so traumatised by the defeat he was given special dispensation by the German FA to have a few week’s ‘recovery’ before joining up with his Euro 2012 teammates. Karl Heinz Rummenigge, German legend and president of Bayern, stood up on the rostrum at Bayern’s post match ‘party’ and said, “this defeat was worse than 1999” (when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ripped Bayern’s hands off the trophy in added time).
Rummenigge’s ‘party’ speech might well have been made at nearby concentration camp Dachau, such was the sombre mood. You can sit back and watch the entire clip here. Even if you don’t understand German it’s worth watching just to see the Bayern players tuck into their dessert of English humble pie. Never has a collection of Germans looked so forlorn since the Allies liberated Berlin in 1945. Call it karma. The funniest part of the clip is the background stage set of guitars and drums as the Bayern team expected to dance the night away. It looks as out of place as a pork pie at a barmitzvah.
Bayern has eleven million fans in Germany and pubs were packed to the rafters with Bayern fans expecting victory. Just like this outside gathering where the atmosphere takes a decidedly bad turn for the worse when Drogba puts the boot in. More ominous still were the Hitler-esque public rallies whipping up nationalistic fervour as you can see here along with the compere’s immortal words, “Give me a Shit Chelsea!”.
Perhaps the best clip has to be of the huge 65,000 strong public gathering in Bayern’s old Olympia Stadion. The celebrations as the penalties go in start well and, err, taper off. You can watch it here and hear for yourself the commentator’s stark words when Drogba strokes the ball home, “AUS”. People start to cry and a few people actually drop to the ground. A bit like my Grandad when he was shot twice at Dunkirk. Call it karma.
Make no mistake. This was a huge, huge national defeat for Germany, not just Bayern. One of my fellow CFCnet writers lives in Berlin and he’s had to switch his mobile phone off such has been the bitterness aimed at Chelsea and its fans. The general feeling is that Chelsea play ‘anti-football’. Call me old fashioned but I thought football was decided upon who puts the ball into the back of the net more than the other team. After all, if there were awards for pretty football, Arsenal would be trophy laden. As it is, Arsenal haven’t won anything for 7 years.
Perhaps the most blatant example of German resentment is seeing Honorary President of Bayern Munich, Franz Beckenbauer, head up a UEFA task force to see whether there is a fairer way of deciding a UEFA Final. Funny that because when Germany was winning penalty shoot outs for fun the Krauts didn’t complain once. Now they get a taste of their own medicine they decide they don’t quite like it. A bit like El Alamein. When will they ever learn?
Finally, to end this missive on a positive note, here’s a shot of the scenes in the Hand and Flower pub when Drogba scored his immortal goal. A classic clip and you can watch it here. Deutchland Uber Alles? I think not.