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Dear Diary:

9th August 2006  -  Germany 2006 - The World Cup!

I timed my arrival in the Netherlands just right as 4 days later the Soccer World Cup in neighboring Germany kicked off. I Aussie Aussie Aussiehad always hoped to see at least one of the Socceroos (Australia's National team) games, but had no idea how hard it would be getting a ticket given all the usual talk about stopping the tickets touts.

Australia Vs Japan

With a few days to go till Australia's first game against Japan, my mate Stefan and I decided to rent a car and head in 3-1 To Australia - You little Beauty!the direction of Kaiserslautern, Germany to see if we could find a scalper and get into the game. It only took about 5 hours or so to drive to Kaiserslautern from Amsterdam - ok I was doing 180km/h on a German autobahn at one point, but hey you have to go with the flow I reckon.

We parked the car downtown on a side street and headed in the direction of the city center and the Stadium. The place was swarming with Aussie Green & Gold and the odd blue top of a Japan supporter. We scoped out a few venues what looked promising should we not be able to get scalped tickets and carried on up towards the Stadium.

Eventually we noticed a group of English guys doing what appeared to be a shady Stef shows off our scalped ticketsdeal on the main street. As luck would have it, the scalper had two tickets remaining! So we each forked over 150 Euros for tickets worth 100 and it was as simple as that, we were going to the game! Of course there is the nervous moment when the ticket you have is scanned and the light turns green if its valid. We had chosen well and it turned green, so it was time to see Australia's first game at the World Cup in some 30 years or so!

There was easily more Australian fans outside the ground for mine, but The main group of Aussiesinside the stadium I'd have to say there was more Yellow (gold) than blue, but not by a massive margin.

Now the first 24 minutes of the game were just fantastic! Come the 25th minute, well what can I say, us Aussies felt a tad deflated when Japan got the first goal of the game. Of course the faint glimmer of hope was there for the next hour of play, but with less than 10 minutes in the game to go, hopes were fading fast...

But then the one and only Timmy Cahill stepped up and set all of us Aussies off like nothing else! Click here to see the reaction just after we leveled the score at 1-1!

From there it just went mental! Click here to see the moment we got our third goal or click here to see the moment full time came and we all went ape! Take special note of Stef shaking the Bad luck fellas!hand of the Japanese guy we were sitting next to who had been very vocal for most of the game, but had gone rather slient once the whistle had gone!

Any way, victory was Australia's and it was time to party in Aussie Aussie Aussiethe streets. Click here to check out the atmosphere in the down stairs part of the stadium just after the game on our way out. It was, of course, time to sing the national anthem and party!

Any way, into the evening we celebrated and then like many others, we slept in our rent-a-car. The next day, we headed back to Amsterdam via Luxembourg to recover. What a result!

Australia Vs Brazil

The Socceroos second game was all the way down in Munich. That's about a 9 hour drive from Amsterdam and there is no Last of the V8 Interceptors - NOT!excuse for an unemployed bum like I was at the time to miss such an event. Together with fellow Aussies Stacey and Mike we hit Brit, Me and Beatathe road in a Wana be V8 interceptor to join the party in Bavaria.

After Amsterdam, Munich is the place I have visited most in main land Europe. Why? Well it a wonderful city on its own, but for me its about seeing old mates. Out first night we hit the town and I got to catch up with Beata who lives locally and my old Uni buddy Brit who just happened to be in town. Fantastic to see you girls! Can't wait to see you All the gangagain soon.

Any way, after a few hours sleep, it was Bring on Brazil baby!game day and time to don the Aussie gear and hit the town. Our battle plan was simple. Head out to the Stadium and attempt to get scalped tickets. If that failed, we would head to the old Olympic stadium where big outdoor screens had been set up to watch the game. As you can tell from this video, the atmosphere on the U-Barn out to the stadium was FANTASTIC!

Thumbs up for sure dude!Unfortunately come the World Cup every man and his dog becomes a Brazil fan. So competition for tickets was fierce and at about 500 Euros and up, well out of my price range. After hanging out at the Stadium for a while, we cut our losses and decided to Action out at the Stadiumhead to the Olympic park. This is about when Homer Simpson would give out a big fat DOH!

You see, the signs at the Stadium train station said that the Olympic park had just been shut due to over crowding! DOH! We needed a new plan. In the end we Game on!headed into the center of town and ended up watching the game in a small restaurant next to the Hofbrau beer hall, the biggest beer garden in down town Munich (The beer hall its self did not have any TV's).

Any way, the game came and went and I guess the expected Me and a random Austrian guy int he beer hallresult of a loss presented its self despite the Socceroos putting up a fantastic fight. At least we were in a handy position to get to the beer hall and get some of the best seats in the house to drink away our sorrows. Cheers Munich and Cheers Brazil!

Australia Vs Croatia

I watched the final Socceroo's group match against Croatia with Cocos in Amasterdam - The Aussie Pubmates here in Amsterdam at Coco's. Coco's is the Aussie Pub in this part of the World.

There were a surprising number of Croatian supporters in the pub that night, but I reckon they were mostly Aussie Croatians Gome on Aussie!and would be happy regardless of the result. If your keen to see what the atmosphere in an Aussie pub in Amsterdam was like for the last few minutes of the game that got us into the finals of the World Cup, click here.

Any way, it was a top result and off to the next stage against Italy we went...

Australia Vs Italy

The finals... Yea, we made it! I guess it was last minute of sorts, but my mate Tip and I decided to rent a car and head south into Germany to see the Italy Vs Australia game. This time no scalpers were needed as another old Aussie mate Luke who lives in London did Tip and I at the gamesome top leg work and secured us tickets two days before the game. Thanks again for sorting it mate!

So off Tip and I headed on game day early in the morning back to Kaiserslautern, the location of our initial victory against Japan. I think I hit a max of just over 200km/h on the German autobahn this time, so getting there in time was not a problem.

I parked the car in the usual spot and we hit the high street Luketo meet Luke and his mates who had also got tickets for the game. Once we met up, it was time to put on the Aussie war paint and soak up the atmosphere. Click here for a sample.

The good news was, this time around every man and his dog had Aussie Fans everywhere!become an Aussie Fan! I don't know what that says about German Italian relations, but hey, I had lots of cute German girls asking for a photo of me with Skip on my head, so it was all good!

Now young Luke had done a good deal and had managed to get us the best category of seats and that's all well and good. But... When I was handed my ticket, I noticed that the name We were in the middle of the Italian fanson the ticket was a sporting group of some description, but the main thing I noticed was the The gang I watch the game withname included the word Italiana! Yep, we were sitting right the in the middle of the main contingent of Italian supporters!!!! DOH!

It looked like there were about 30 Aussies or so who had hit the same scalper with a mind for business and a good sense of humor. Any way, the game was good and if you click here, you will see a video that will prove that the result was all my fault! I jinxed them! Sorry guys!

LukeDriving back from Kaiserslautern, I noticed this autobahn rest stop. This is a real photo and the actual name of the stop. It said it all I guess! We'll get em next time! Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!!!!

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