Ground: Signal Iduna Park (Westfalenstadion)
Visits: 2 (1 for a Dortmund game)
Date: 2nd November 2016
Match: Borussia Dortmund - Sporting Club de Portugal 1-0 (UEFA Champions League)
Attendance: 65 849
Date: 10th June 2006
Match: Sweden - Trinidad/Tobago 0-0 (FIFA World Cup 2006)
Attendance: 65 000
Report (Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Club de Portugal)
Being free from work, from Wednesday onwards, the last week of October I decided to make a European tour. At first I was looking at starting the tour with Monaco v CSKA Moskva but when Monaco refused to sell me a ticket (at least on-line) I changed my plans. First up was to be another Champions League-game, Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Club de Portugal at Westfalenstadion. I visited the ground in 2006 when Sweden played Trinidad/Tobago on a very warm evening in the opening group game of the World Cup. With Westfalenstadion being one of the biggest grounds in Europe I have always wanted to attend a Dortmund home game and as I set off from Kristianstad at 07.15 on Wednesday morning I knew I had an interesting day ahead. I was flying to Düsseldorf and from there I then went by train for 30 minutes to Bochum, where I was staying for the night.
Kick-off was at 8.45pm and shortly after 6 I left my hotel. Nowadays there is a train station next to the ground and 35 minutes after leaving my hotel I was outside the ground.. Being dark there was no point in taking too many exterior pictures and shortly before 7 I entered the ground. For domestic games the capacity at Westfalenstadion is 81 500. For international games the famous Südtribüne (aka Gelbe Wande) is made all-seater though and 65 849 is the official capacity then. My seat was in the top row of the Osttribüne. Great view but the roof blocked off parts of the other stands. Sporting CP brought around 3 000 fans to this game and throughout the 90 minutes they gave their side a great vocal support. Dortmund are top of the group and managed to win this evening as well. The only goal was scored in the 12th minute but both teams had chances to score more goals. All in all an ok game but nothing extraordinary. Die Gelbe Wande (The Yellow Wall) was in good vocal support but I wouldn´t describe the atmosphere as electric. Home fans were pleased with the three points though and being back at my hotel before mid-night I was quite pleased myself. Tomorrow my European Tour continues with a trip to Gent in Belgium.
Report (Sweden v Trinidad/Tobago):
Two weeks before the World Cup started I finally manged to get a ticket for a Sweden game. After many, many hours on the FIFA website it was of course a hugh relief and satisfaction to get hold of two tickets for Sweden vs Trinidad/Tobago. Friday 9th June was exam day in Swedish schools but it was the long awaited trip to Germany I was looking forward to the most this day. Our journey started with train trip to Copenhagen and from there a train to Hamburg. During the one hour ferry journey between Rødby and Puttgarden it was obvious the World Cup was good business for the ferry company. It was absolutely packed with football fans, most of them Swedish but also some Argentinians heading to Hamburg for the Argentina-Ivory Coast game. When we finally arrived in Hamburg by 10.15pm we had a short rest before the last leg of our journey this day, train to Hannover. 30 minutes after midnight we walked through the entrance to our hotel in Hannover and the receptionist greeted us with a free drink. After many hours on the train it was really nice to sit down and relax in the hotel lobby!
The following day we discovered the Angolan FA stayed at our hotel, Angola played in Hannover. Anyway, we headed towards Dortmund by midday and when we arrived in Dortmund there was an ocean of yellow. I was expecting 30 000 Swedish fans to be in Dortmund this day but it was almost surreal to see so many Swedish fans in the town centre and outside the ground. It was a very hot day and during the afternoon we did our best to stay in the shadow. Two hours before kick-off we decided to go inside the impressive Westfalenstadion. For domestic matches there is a massive terrace in the south end of the ground but for the World Cup the entire stadium had seats. Our seats were in row 3, just above the dug-outs. The sun was directly in our eyes and this was clearly going to be a warm and sweaty day. I was confident Sweden was to win quite easily but that was not to be. Despite several good chances the game ended 0-0 and 30 000 Swedish fans left the ground disappointed and a bit frustrated. I was of course disappointed myself but knowing I had a Holland-Serbia game to look forward to the following day I was still in reasonably good mood.
Pictures from Borussia Dortmund v Sporting CP
Westfalenstadion at night
Dortmund fans before the game
View of play
Scarfs are out
View of play
After the game
Pictures from Sweden v Trinidad/Tobago
A hot day in Dortmund
Teams entering the pitch
View of play
After the match