Ballz, Beerz & Bratwurstz (?)
Love it or hate it, football is a global language. It’s ubiquitous presence around the globe means it is always likely to be a point of reference in whichever country you find yourself travelling in. For example, the two simple magic words ‘Paulo’ and ‘Wanchope’ strung together will endear you to a Costa Rican before you can say ¡pura vida!
Without sounding too pretentious, the spectacle of a football match can also give great insight into another culture too. From the atmosphere in the crowd to the expression on the pitch itself, it’s a brilliant way to immerse yourself in a shared experience together with people from all walks of life, whether at home or abroad.
For these reasons and more, whenever I’m abroad I try to get myself along to a local game, big or small. And I’m not the only one. With the advances in social media and increased availability of dodgy internet streams, your average football fan is now far more aware and more informed than they have ever been, leading to interest in foreign leagues and consequentially a rise in football tourism. Coupled with extortionate Premier League prices and cheap budget airlines, it’s not surprising to see more and more people taking advantage.
At the vanguard of this trend is the much vaunted Bundesliga. With cheap tickets, debt-free clubs, a friendly atmosphere and more sausage that you can shake a schnitzel at, the Germans continue to provide the perfect footballing model. Boasting the highest average attendances in all of Europe, it has also attracted a growing number of inquisitive Brits, disillusioned with the faceless Premier League, keen to see what all the fuss is about…