This past weekend Craig and I attended our first professional sporting event in Leipzig – a soccer (football) game! We watched the Leipzig Red Bulls (sponsored by Red Bull) take on the Duisburg Zebras!
This was my first time ever attending a soccer game, and I didn’t know what to expect. Unlike many sporting events I’ve attended, the crowds were roaring the WHOLE time! Not a moment was silent as the Leipzig cheering section waved their flags, sang their songs, and performed coordinated crowd dances. Honestly, watching the cheers was just as entertaining, if not more entertaining, than the game itself.
The rival team also brought a cheer section of its own, and the two would banter back and forth throughout the game.
Anyway, perhaps you are curious about the game itself. In the first half the Red Bulls were the first to pass the ball through the net, and Craig and I roared in celebration (complete with a standing high five). Only… we were the only two in the stadium cheering because apparently the player was offsides and the goal didn’t count. (Stupid ignorant Americans.)
The Zebras were the first to actually score, and then we were on the edge of our seats waiting for the Red Bulls to score for real so we could redeem ourselves from the previous embarrassment. Luckily, they did, and the score was 1-1 at the half.
At halftime the fans flocked to the concession stands to fill up on bratwursts, pretzels, and beer.
The second half was filled with close calls and lots of cheering, but the real excitement didn’t happen until about the last 15 minutes of the game.
The Zebras took the lead, making the score 1-2. The whole stadium was woeful with disappointment and anxiously hoping the Red Bulls could tie the score again. With about 10 minutes remaining, they scored! The crowd went wild! Then they scored again! The crowd again went wild! Then again! Everyone was out of their seats and roaring loudly! As time quickly ran out, the Leipzig Red Bulls took the win, with a final score of 4-2!
It was a very exciting game and a very thrilling experience, and it made me feel one step closer to becoming European. I hope we’ll be back again!
(And just so we’re clear, there wasn’t any fighting or vandalism involved. I use the term “hooligan” lightly.)