4th August 2017

Now and Then

Empty like a crevasse; Signal Iduna Park, a mass of metal structures scaffolding and hugging Borussia Dortmund’s grounds. A ray of neon lights glimmer onto the damp grass. Thousands of black and yellow bees stripe across the stadium, waiting for the swarm. Dull, circular lights on the edge of the roof anticipating to shine on the big day.

 

Deep inside the hole one man prepares the ground for what’s to come. Wearing typical grandad clothing, light coloured jeans, a yellow cap and a black polo shirt with a bumblebee coloured badge, a Borussia Dortmund badge. A circular, ball shaped badge with a BVB in the centre. He leaves a white trail behind him like a snail. Going up and down, making the lines the football game needs. The grass is clean cut, he creates amazing patterns along the pitch,criss-crossing triangles and diamonds. The silent atmosphere in the stadium, brings out an echo, showing potential when filled.

 

When the sun falls and the night rises, those dull lights shine, exploding into life. Sounds of cars parking and people muttering,  shouting and chanting. Food bars selling hot dogs, burgers, coffee, chips and alcohol. The smell takes over the line which is as long as the stadium itself. The star players with the spotlight on them, warming up and getting used to their new surroundings.

El rondo. Midfielders passing the ball between each other in a small circle with one defender in the middle passing the ball so quickly that half the time you don’t know where it is. Defenders playing long passes across the width of the pitch in the air and landing right to the other player on the other side. Goalkeepers and attackers practising together, attackers hitting the ball like a cannon. Goalkeepers defending the goal like they’re life depends on it with reaction time of a spider.

 

The swarm of people arrive, the empty crevasse turns into a beehive within seconds. During the game fans either sit eating hot dogs and watch the game while at the other end of the pitch fans screaming at the players on the pitch, telling them what to do and shouting at the opposition fans, having banter.

The Yellow Wall,  Signal Iduna Parks reputation for being the best atmosphere in the world. From the floor to ceiling, black and yellow banners held above the fans heads make that tiny badge ten times bigger. Fans support their idols showing their respect for the club wearing black and yellow. Others come with face paint of Borussia Dortmund’s badge, occasionally a few with tattoos. New season club jersey and jeans are the typical fans clothing while some wear several old jerseys showing the clubs history.

There is nothing else like it, no other club has fans so passionate.

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