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Club Brugge

Ground: Jan Breydelstadion

Visits: 1

Date: 23th February 2012

Match: Club Brugge - Hannover  0-1  (UEFA Europa League)

Attendance: 22 000

 

A couple of years ago I was contacted by a Flemish football fan, Raf from Lier. Since then I have had an invitation to visit him and go to some matches together. The last weekend of February 2012 my first ever trip to Belgium eventually took place. There were 5 matches on the menu, the first being the Europa League match between Club Brugge and Hannover. I travelled to Brugge via Copenhagen and Brussels and arrived at my hotel by 19.30 on Wednesday evening. Several people had told me what a nice city centre there is in Brugge and I wanted to do some touristing on Thursday before going to the match. As I had breakfast on Thursday morning I could notice I was not the only hotel guest being in Brugge for football. There were plenty of Hannover fans and once again it was obvious how much money football supporteres generate during their travels in Europe. My first stop on Thursday morning was the train station where I boarded the #5 bus taking me to Jan Breydelstadion. This ground nowdays has a capacity of around 30 000 and is the home of both Club Brugge and Cercle Brugge. As I approached the ground two Germans asked me to buy them a ticket. Unfortunately for them no tickets were on sale today though. Once at Jan Breydelstadion I was hoping for an open gate and to my delight I found one straight away. Once inside I could walk around taking as many pictures as I wanted to. No-one aske me any questions. I knew Jan Breydelstadion was renovated for EURO 2000 but I have to say the ground felt a bit old and ran-down. That is not a bad thing for groundhoppers though.

 

The rest of the day I spent walking around in the old city centre of Brugge. I have been to many places in my life but few cities have a centre as nice and impressive as Brugge (see pictures below). After resting at my hotel I then set off for the match around 17.00. This time I had to wait 20 minutes before catching a bus and once on the bus the journey went very slowly. After 30 minutes I left the bus and walked the remaining distance to the ground. I arrived by 18.00 which actually was the time I had told Raf to meet me at the Fanshop. As I wasn´t allowed to buy a ticket (Belgian residents only) Raf had asked some Club Brugge friends of his to get me a ticket. For this I was of course grateful. We then had a drink together before entering the ground with 20 minutes to go. Unfortunately Raf´s friends had their tickets in another block than us but Raf and I managed to sit next to each other. We only had to move an elderly couple.....

 

Hannover won the first leg 2-1 so this was a very open and exciting match. In the first half both teams had plenty of chances but it was the German visitors who scored the only goal, 3-1 in total to them. Apart from the official 1 500 there were at least 500 other Hannover fans inside Jan Breydelstadion this evening. With no other goal being scored in the match it was these visiting fans who could celebrate victory and progress to the next round. My first ever game in Belgium came to an end but with four more matches planned on this trip there was indeed a lot to look forward to as I said good-bye to Raf and his friends.

 

brugge, lake of love

Lake of Love

 

brugge3

Brugge city centre

 

brugge6

Brugge city centre

 

brugge2

Brugge city centre

 

brugge4

Brugge city centre

 

hannoverfans

Hannover fans in the city centre

 

jan breydelstadion, vy2

Jan Breydelstadion

 

noordtribune

Noordtribune

 

oosttribune

Oosttribune

 

zuidtribune

Zuidtribune

 

westtribune

Westtribune

 

bruggefans

Club Brugge fans

 

noordtribune2

Noordtribune

 

spelbild

View of play

 

oosttribune2

Oosttribune

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

hannoverfans2

Hannover fans

 

jan breydelstadion, vy

My view

 

zuidtribune3

Zuidtribune

 

pano, jan breydelstadion1

Pano

 

pano, jan breydelstadion3

Pano