Germany's football museum ready for kick-off

BERLIN, GERMANY, Ryland James- The German Football Museum opens its doors to the public this weekend, offering some light relief from a cash-for-votes scandal over the 2006 World Cup.
At a cost of 36 million euros ($40 million), the private venture partially backed by the DFB (German Football Association) will open as a shrine to those who have worn the famous white shirt in football-mad Germany.

The eye-catching, 7,700-square-metre complex in the heart of the western city of Dortmund contains some 1,600 exhibits.
The largest is the Mercedes bus on which the German team rode through Berlin on their triumphant return from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The bus also carried the German team after they finished third at the 2006 World Cup on home soil, which is nostalgically referred to here as the "Sommermaerchen" -- the "summer fairytale".
The dream soured last weekend when Spiegel news magazine alleged the votes of four Asian members of FIFA's executive committee were bought in the race to host the tournament.
The DFB has strenuously denied the allegations.
The scandal clouded a visit to the museum on Monday by DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, who found himself fending off a barrage of questions on the 2006 World Cup.
- Aladdin's cave -
The structure is an Aladdin's cave of German football treasures and opens to the public on Sunday, following a gala on Friday.
There is the original ball from the World Cup final in 1954, known as the Miracle of Bern, when West Germany came from 2-0 down after just eight minutes to record a famous 3-2 win over Hungary.
There is even the coffee cup Franz Beckenbauer drank from during the 1990 World Cup final in Rome, when he coached Germany to their third title.
Alongside numerous football shirts and boots from famous players, there is the eye-catching footwear Mario Goetze wore when he scored the winning goal in Germany's 1-0 win over Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final.
The boots fetched two million euros when auctioned for a children's charity, but were then donated to the museum.
"Mario Goetze wrote football history in Rio. His 'golden' shoes will be a centre piece of our exhibition," said museum director Manuel Neukirchner.
As well as reliving some historic moments, visitors also get to test their on-camera skills in a multimedia exhibit about the work of a sports reporter.
A tour lasts around 90 minutes and afterwards, in the museum's restaurant, hungry fans can sample the dishes that fuelled the Mannschaft's footwork in Brazil last year.
The museum's emphasis is on the national team rather than Bundesliga clubs.
"The national team is our key element as clubs so often have their own museums, so it is difficult to get hold of certain memorabilia," explained Neukirchner.
At 17 euros per ticket ($18.84) a visit is not cheap, but Neukirchner defended the pricing policy.
"We are not a state museum and do not receive grants," he said. "In order to cover costs, we need 270,000 visitors a year.
"Our admission fees are not higher than a general admission ticket to a Bundesliga game."

Monday, October 26th 2015
Ryland James

New comment:

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport

At a glance