Ground: HSH Nordbank Arena (Volksparkstadion)
Date: 31st October 2009
Match: Hamburger SV - Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-3 (Bundesliga)
Attendance: 57 000
In 1982 IFK Göteborg became the first Swedish club to win a European trophy. In those days the final of the UEFA-Cup was played over two legs and it was at Volksparkstadion in Hamburg Conny Karlsson could lift the cup after one of the best ever performances by a Swedish club. Volksparkstadion, the home of Hamburger SV since 1963, was an athletics stadium and was never very popular with the HSV fans. In 1998 the rebuilding works started and in 2000 the new stadium was inaugurated when Germany played Greece. Since its inauguration the stadium has had several different names but since 2007 it has been called HSH Nordbank Arena. The capacity of the stadium is 57 274 for domestic matches and 51 500 for international matches when the standing sections are converted into seated areas.
My journey towards Hamburg started early on Saturday morning as I left Berlin Hauptbahnhof and 1h 40 minutes later I arrived in Hamburg. After checking in at my hotel I had something to eat and drink before I left for the ground. The nearest S-bahn station is Stellingen and from there it is a 15-20 minute walk through a wooden landscape. There were shuttle buses as well but as you know I am a fit person who prefers to walk.
Once inside the stadium I realised it had certainly change since that UEFA Cup final in 1982. The lower tier of the North stand is terraced and the hard core HSV fans standing there created a good atmosphere throughout the game. Hamburg scored the first goal of the game and as league leaders I expected then to win comfortably. Borussia had other ideas though and equalised shortly before half time. The second half had barely started when Ze Roberto scored a stunning free kick to put Hamburg back in front once more. Two defensive errors from the home team was enough for Borussia to snatch an unexpected away win though as Hamburg lost for the first time this season. It was quite cold walking back to Stellingen station but five goals certainly made it worth to freeze a bit.
Going to football
Fans outside the ground
Borussia fan buying beer
View of play