Borussia Dortmund Fever in India - My Experience
The first club that comes to any football fan’s mind when you talk about passionate fans and unrivalled stadium atmosphere is Borussia Dortmund (BVB). The love and passion that BVB fans have towards their club is incredible and contagious. The club has and is continuously creating loyal fans all around the world and the Black and Yellow fever has been hitting India, evident with the growing number of supporters clubs in the country and fans that identify themselves as the Yellow Wall of India.
What makes BVB stand out as a club and has really boosted the amount of support they have is the way the club values and treats its fans. The club is constantly giving back to its communities and fans that are loyal towards them across the globe. One such initiative the club takes is putting in tons of love and effort in organising the annual Christmas Party or Weihnachten. They host representatives from every fans club to an evening celebration with drinks and dinner at the Signal Iduna Park. This Christmas celebration is very special, as it brings fans from across the world closer to the club and each other, thus creating the family atmosphere that BVB stands for.
This year, representatives from our newly formed fan club in India (BVB Supporters Club Mumbai) were invited to spend a week with the club we love.
The selected few were invited to attend the Christmas Party, be a part of an exclusive tour of the BVB facilities and the city and watch a live home game at the Signal Iduna Park. The game ended up being the best wrap to the trip as BVB beat Dusseldorf 5-0 in the all-black jerseys! It’s one thing to go visit your favourite football club, which is an incredible and emotional experience in itself but it’s an out-of-the-world and an indescribable feeling to be hosted by them for a week! I am so humbled and grateful to Borussia Dortmund to make my dream come true this year. This blog shares more about the experience.
Annual Christmas Party
Presenters of the Christmas Party Norbert Dickel and Danny Fritz welcomed 1350 fan club representatives into the wonderfully decorated lounges of Signal Iduna. Most fans were from Germany, however, there were some international fan clubs present from China, India, USA, Morocco and others. Food and drink counters, various gaming stations and much more were all accessible to the fans with a marvellous view of the most beautiful football stadium in the world. Personally, I was delighted by the excitement of local fans on hearing we were from India and that led to us meeting with many fans.
Up and close to the first team
The most exciting part of the Christmas Party is being able to meet the players - our role models and idols. The “Autograph Bar” is a brilliant idea where we got to get our jerseys signed and interact with all the players and the technical team. It is a dream come true moment for most fans like me.
After all the groups were able to visit the Autograph Bar, the players joined into various sections of the party, playing with fans at the gaming station or serving beer to the fans at the counters.
Tour Day with BVB
The club organised an exciting day for us to tour the stadium, academy and training grounds and the city of Dortmund in none other than the first team bus. It was such a special day - from being able to walk the tunnel, stand in the iconic Yellow Wall, catch a glimpse of the first-team training to visit the church out of which BVB was formed and learn about the culture and history of this magnificent club.
Visit to the Academy and Footbonaut
The academy visit was so exciting to see where and how the future stars are created. Being a big-time Marco Reus fan, I loved seeing where this BVB legend amongst the likes of many others were trained. The training facilities at BVB, needless to say, are absolutely top class. We were shown around by academy coach Marvin Mainoo-Boakye, who was so accommodating to the hundreds of questions buzzing in our minds and patiently took us through the entire facility.
The academy tour ended with a sweet surprise - being able to access the highly coveted Footbonaut of Borussia Dortmund!
Imagine sitting in the first team bus of your favourite football club and being shown around the city in it. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling but what this did do is invoke a lot of emotions as a passionate tour guide took us through the journey of this club from its inception as we went around the city. We learnt so much about the history that even Google may not be able to tell you. The history of the club justifies the kind of emotions and connections that each from Dortmund has to the club. BVB is not just a household name, it is a religion, part of the traditions and culture and probably a cult in Dortmund.
While I have loved this club for the past 8 years or so, this trip has brought me so much closer not just to the club but to the people and the city of Dortmund. I didn’t think it was possible to love this club more than what I did but that’s just what happened. India being a country full of emotions and culture easily resonates with the kind of passion that follows Dortmund.
Modified 02 Jan 2020, 16:06 IST