Germany v Portugal, 8 June 2006, Gottlieb-Daimler Stadium: Germany Celebrates

July 8, 2006 | By Stuart Franklin | Creative

It is often thought in sport that nobody remembers who comes second, yet alone third place! Well, tonight the German nation will certainly remember. The German pride was what the team was playing for with a couple of side issues thrown in for good measure too.

The atmosphere in the stadium was just that of a final – not only full of expectation but also celebration. Fans from both sides joined together for one last show.

Unfortunately the first half was so insipid that it left me wanting something that matched the colour and passion of the pre-match build up. I didn’t have to wait too long – the second half was a completely different game. Both teams seemed to remember why they had started to play today, and so, we were treated to 45 minutes of good football attacking that even yielded a few goals. It was good for fans and photographers alike.

The World Cup 2006 was a success for Germany both as a team and as a nation. The last month truly has been a time to make friends and a time to celebrate this great sport. As I left the stadium I couldn’t help feeling (even after all the hard work) I will miss this World Cup – I crave more of this type of football. Fortunately I only have to wait five short weeks until the start of the Bundesliga season!

Stuart Franklin Getty Images 12.jpg

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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