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Stadion Narodowy (Warsaw)

Ground: Stadion Narodowy

Visits: 1

Date: 16th June 2012

Match: Greece - Russia  1-0 (EURO 2012)

Attendance: 55 614

 

When Sweden qualified for EURO 2012 my top priority for the summer was to attend one (or more) of our matches. When the draw was made I realised it would be very difficult, due to work commitments,for me to travel to the Ukraine for one of Sweden´s matches. Instead I looked at other matches and I managed to secure tickets for a couple of other matches. First up was A2 vs A3 in Warsaw. That turned out to be Greece vs Russia at the new Stadion Narodowy (National Stadium) in central Warsaw. Being played on a Saturday evening I didn´t have to take time off work. My flight, from Copenhagen to Warsaw, was on Friday afternoon and I arrived at Frederic Chopin airport by 5pm. An hour later I was at my hotel in central Warsaw. I then watched Sweden lose to England and felt a bit sorry for the 20 000 Swedish fans who had travelled to Kiev.

 

When I made my way to Stadion Narodowy on Saturday morning it was difficult not to notice the Russian fans. They were everywhere and proudly waved their Russian flags. The stadium itself is situated near the river Wisla and I have to say it looked stunning from the outside. Unusually for a new stadium it is really near the city centre making it easy to get to. Stadion Narodowy was opened in November 2011 and has a capacity of around 57 000. It is located on the site of the former 10th-Anniversary Stadium, on al. Zieleniecka in Praga Poludnie district. The stadium has a retractable PVC roof which unfolds from a nest on a spire suspended above the centre of the pitch. After taking a few pictures of the stadium I then headed towards the Old Town. Once there I met two other Swedish football fans. Daniel is from Germany but nowdays he and his girlfriend live in Stockholm. He had told me they would be wearing the colours of Hammarby and since there aren´t too many (?) Hammarby fans in Warsaw I said something in Swedish when I saw two people wearing the green and white Hammarby shirt. After a drink at a nearby bar we then made a sightseeing tour of central Warsaw. Umschlagplatz is the place from where the Nazis transported 300 000 Jews to the extermination camps. Standing by the memorial it was time to be quiet and think of all those who started their journey to death from this place. We then visited The tomb of the unknown soldier and a couple of other places before finding a restaurant. almost everyone at the restaurants in the square were Russians and it was obvious they hadn´t been drinking water all day. Song after song in Russian and it felt more like being in Moscow than in Warsaw. Daniel and Romina then received news Hammarby had lost (1-0) to Ljungskile. I told them it was probably better spending the day in Warsaw than at Söderstadion.

 

As I entered Stadion Narodowy I immediately felt "Wow, what a ground". This must be one of the best stadiums being built in Europe in the last decade. There are 29 rows in the lower tier, my seat was in row 28, and it was possible to walk around all the stands using the spacious platform above the 29th row. After a while a cute young lady from Russia started to talk to me. She wanted me to change seats with one of her friends sitting in the opposite stand. She walked me to the seat and I said it was OK, it was row 24 but still good enough for me. I was now sitting in the Russian curve and it was a pleasure to be there when 15 000 or so Russians sung the most beautiful national anthem in the world. Despite a massive support the Russian team couldn´t find the net. Instead it was Greece who, in first half stoppage time, manged to score the first goal. Russia then tried everything in the second half but it was impossible for them to find the equaliser. It finished 1-0 to Greece, shock and disappointment in the Russian curve but massive celebrations by the Greeks. After the match I had to walk all the way (5,5 km) back to my hotel and I could look back on a long and memorable day in Warsaw.

 

warszawa, vy

Warsaw

 

slottet

The castle

 

okände soldatens grav

Tomb of the unknown soldier

 

umschlagplatz

Umschlagplatz

 

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Umschlagplatz

 

kulturpalatset

Palace of Culture and Science

 

ryska fans1

Russian fans

 

rysk supporter

Russian supporter

 

ryska fans2

Russian fans

 

ryska fans3

Russian fans

 

ryska fans4

Russian fans

 

ryska fans6

More Russians

 

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Outside the Russian team hotel

 

ryska fans8

Dancing Russians

 

greker

Greeks

 

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Stadion Narodowy

 

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Stadion Narodowy

 

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Stadion Narodowy at night

 

taket

The roof structure

 

polska fans

Polish fans

 

south stand

South Stand

 

west stand

West Stand

 

north stand

North Stand

 

east stand

East Stand

 

south stand2

South Stand

 

ryska fans9

Russian national anthem

 

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Fans

 

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West Stand

 

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North Stand

 

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Greeks

 

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Greek national anthem

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

spelbild

View of play

 

east stand3

East Stand

 

spelbild2

View of play

 

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Pano

 

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Pano

 

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Pano