Wie ist das so in der Westkurve des TSV 1860 München als Fan eines anderen europäischen Klubs? Wir haben einen Erlebnisbericht von Fans des kroatischen Klubs HNK Rijeka. Die waren zu Gast bei Münchens großer Liebe. Der Erlebnisbericht auf Englisch.
Munich, a place where fans in the stands, with the colour of their atire draw the logo of a multinational phone company. Munich a city home to a state of the art stadium with a full colour changing exterior. Munich, the last place in Europe where one would find atmosphere at a football match from the times most of us thought were long gone. Or not?
To 99 out of a 100 football fans around the globe Munich is a city associated with a club bearing the name of the province it is situated in. A club wearing red, a club which spends millions on incoming tranfers, a club, the majority of Muncheners like to call „Red bastards”. To the rest of us, it is home of TSV 1860 Munich – Münchens Große Liebe, as the fans, righly, call it.
A club so closely bonded with it’s citizens, a club, now in the third division of German football, that plays it’s home matches at it’s spirtual home, Grünwalder Stadion in Stadtteil rechts der Isar und südöstlicher Teil der bayeri..., in front of a sold out crowd of 15 000 fans. Right, a sell out at the Sechziger stadion. In the third division.
When planning our weekend break, the focal point was to catch a home game of the Die Löwen. My knowledge of the club, it’s past and present, was, as, so I wrongfully believed, pretty decent, but nothing could prepare me, or better, us, as I was at the game with my better half Arijana, herself a seasoned football fan, for the Saturday afternoon in Giesing.
The „minor” problem of securing tickets to a sell out game was overcome thanks to Arik and Oskar of the Löwenmagazin.
“Wären Karten für die Westkurve in Ordnung?”, wrote Arik in one of his e-mails and referred me to Oskar, who I met, on the match day, at Grünspitz. Westkurve, Grünspitz, Weiß und Blau. Too many similarities to the club we support, HNK Rijeka (of Rijeka, Croatia), also a club called „the White and blues”. When we stepped on the Westkurve of the Grünwalder Stadion it felt like we were teleported 15 years back in time to our old stadium, Kantrida. The layout of the stands, the children running around, the number of fans, both young and old, male and female, from all walks of life, the flags in the air and banners on the fences. The feeling was boosted as the Westkurve led the Grünwalder Stadion in song, not stopping for 90 minutes. The songs, almost identical to those Armada (Rijeka’s ultra group) sing. Armada too, stood on the west terrace of the old Kantrida stadium, before the recent move to the new stadium Rujevica. Kantrida, now a mythical place to Rijeka fans, as is the Grünwalder Stadion to Sechzig fans. A stadium where the fans, like those at Grünspitz, a park turned wateringhole for the home faithful, came together before games at „Pojilo”, an improvised bar near the stadium. A place to celebrate the victories, and more often, drown the sorrow of defeat. Rijeka, like 1860 Munchen, has just one national championship title written next to its name.
I must admit that I spent the majority of the 2 hours at the stadium enjoying the atmosphere on the terraces with the occasional glance towards the pitch where 1860 battled their opponents from Wiesbaden, followed by a small group of travelling fans who could be seen, but not heard, from the eastern part of the main stand. This was a game of second (1860 Munchen) against third (Wehen Wiesbaden), an important game early in the season. This showed as the half time result was a dull 0:0. A different 1860 side returned from the changing rooms taking the lead early in the second half following a nice team play on the left side of the pitch. Led by an inspired Maris Skenderovic, a quick fire double by the home side in the last ten minutes of the game sealed the victoy. The guest only managed to embellish the result with a solitary goal in the dieing minutes of the game. The 3:1 win strengthened the home side second position behid Elversberg. A position still guaranteeing automatic promotion to the 2. Bundesliga. A league which, if they qualify, they will not be able to play at their stadium as it, according to some new age football rules, does not meet the requirements for higher level football.
We left the Westkurve joining the white and blue river in song, but the visit to Grünwalder Stadion would not be complete without another stop in Grünspitz. Another beer (or maybe a few more) of Munchens local Hacker-Pschor, from a bottle specially made for the side, together with a couple of hundred fans from all walks of life, grandads who still remember the glory of 1966. with their grandchildren, students, punks, bankers… With one thing in common. Their City. Their Club.
Einmal Löwe immer Löwe!