Dortmund · Germany

Dortmund in a Heartbeat

Dear K,

I am sorry I have been so busy. I haven’t had a chance to catch up with you in a while! I will try to write more often as it always feels so good to share these adventures with you. I enjoyed a lot reading about your time in Paris. Can’t wait to hear more about that weekend in London!

Well, you know how crazy I am about Benfica, right? I finally decided to go watch a game abroad. About 10 days ago, Benfica played the second game of the Champions League’s round of 16. We had won the first game at home (1-0) and even though our chances were low, as a die-hard fan I had to believe we could pass to the next round. So I embraced the adventure: got my game ticket, flight, car, and friends.

We flew to Luxembourg on Wednesday morning and the weather suuuucked so much! I was not interested in touristing around, but we had to drive for 3 hours to get to the stadium. There was endless traffic! Seriously, I was so nervous! As I was not driving, I tried to sleep to make the time go faster. After way more than 3 hours, we finally got to the stadium. We still had about two hours before the game so we just mingled with some Portuguese and German supporters around the stadium. They have some sort of stands with food, drinks and merchandising. By food I mean sausages, they seriously serve nothing else but sausages. They’re awful lol but I was starving so I pretended it was the best meal of my life. NOT!

Then there was an embarrassing moment. I wanted to change my Benfica scarf for one from BVB. So I was inquiring around if anyone was interested. This guy came up and said he would do it. My retarded friends were a bit tipsy, so they started yelling “kiss, kiss, kiss” super loud, and suddenly everyone stopped and there were like 50 men staring at us and shouting “kiss, kiss, kiss”. I’m not easily embarrassed and you know it, but I could barely thank the guy and ran away lmao. At least the scarf is super cool!

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At the stadium… OMG! I have always wanted to visit Westfalenstadion (now Signal Iduna Park), because of the ambiance. Their supporters are known for being incredible and having amazing songs, choreographies and intensity. And they did not disappoint. I was impressed. Seeing them singing You’ll Never Walk Alone gave me chills!

Nevertheless, I have to tell you that we, Benfica fans, responded in the best way possible to that show. And until we were losing 3-0, I could barely hear Dortmund’s fans. The nearly 4,000 Benfica’s supporters were restless and sang nonstop even during the break. What a show!!! Usually, there are half-time events going on. If nothing else, at least there’s music. I noticed there was nothing going on. It is like they respected us so much, that they did not even turn the half-time music on. All silence around the stadium for 15 minutes, staring at our corner singing out of passion. After the game ended, despite losing painfully (4-0), we were applauded by their fans and even the players. That’s RESPECT!

I was a bit anxious about the environment before and after the game, as I have seen men behaving like primates before in occasions like this. However, I need to highlight that these people respect football like no other. Before, during and after the game I could not notice one bad incident. It made me really proud that we supported the team during the entire time, no matter the result. That’s football, that’s respect, that’s a true passion!

I know you don’t necessarily understand how people can go crazy about a bunch of men running after a ball, but try to think of something you are really passionate about. The heart beats faster, the blood runs through your veins full speed and your hormones are on edge. And then you look around you and there are 64,999 other people who feel exactly the same way you do. It’s MAGICAL! And you can’t help it… but sing louder and louder.

It was unbelievable and I was there! Sure I could have been happier, the result was painful, but the experience and what I felt made every bit worth it!

I miss you <3

– C

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