Wellington Scoop

Germans and Argentinians watch tense football final in city’s bars

Report from Newswire
Wellington’s bars were busy this morning as football fans gathered all over the city to watch the World Cup final. After a long and tense match where both teams struggled to score, German fans were rewarded for their patience as the winning goal was scored in extra time.

With just minutes to spare, Mario Gotze scored the first and only goal of the match, winning the Cup for Germany for the first time in 24 years.

At Wellington bar Five Stags, one Germany supporter was confident from the beginning that his team would win. “Germany are going to be too strong. Their defence will shut down Messi.”

However German Ambassador Anne-Marie Schleich, who was watching at The Grand, wasn’t so sure and said she believed the match could go either way.

The Grand hosted both German and Argentinian embassy staff and an air of friendly rivalry defined the atmosphere throughout the game. The Courtenay Place sports bar was overrun with excited fans decked out in team colours.

Spanish curse words flew through the air and fans held their heads in their hands as Argentina missed several opportunities to score but the excitement of the fans never wavered.

Although Argentina supporters were more vocal, the elation of Germany supporters was unrivaled as they rose as one to celebrate, at last, a goal.

Brazil’s Ambassador Eduardo Gradilone was quick to shake his German counterpart’s hand in congratulations (and, most likely, relief).

For the fans at Cuba St’s Argentinian bar and restaurant, El Matador, the day started well.

The young crowd, dressed casually rather than in team colours, enjoyed coffee and pastries while watching the game on the venue’s one television screen.

The relaxed atmosphere became tense, though, as Argentina came close to scoring several times only to have the ball go out of play. At half time one supporter described the game as being on a knife’s edge, and many began to pin their hopes on star player Lionel Messi to bring their team victory.

“Don’t speak yet. Messi’s still out there,” said one Argentina fan as the CBD bar Bruhaus erupted in cheers around him after Germany’s goal.

El Matador café owner Mike Marsland says Argentinian supporters could teach Kiwis a thing or two. “They make All Black supporters look like a bunch of wimps.”

He says the passion of Argentinian football fans is incomparable.

“We put up the event up on out Facebook page and then the phone started ringing non-
stop, I decided not to take reservations.”

The bar’s 150 person capacity was stretched to its limit with fans crammed inside.

Newswire report by Amanda Herrera
Men cried and supportive girlfriends gave words of condolences as Argentinian fans in Wellington mourned their World Cup loss this morning.

Tourist Ignacio Rossi said his fellow Argentinians would be feeling a huge sadness today. “We really thought it was ours, now we will have to wait another four years. Maybe then,” he said amid the crowd at The Grand in Courtenay Place.

The bar hosted both German and Argentinian supporters, with the latter outnumbering the German crowd.

The emotionally charged Argentinians used a variety of famous football chants and air-horns. But even Argentinians such as visitor Mauricio Torress admitted Germany were just the better team on the day.

“We’re upset, but Germany played better. Next time.”

Messi football shirts were the most popular clothing, while others draped the blue and yellow flag over their shoulders.

Romina Bocache, Deputy Head of Mission at the Argentinian Embassy, said Messi lacked his normal spark of genius, but still played well.

She said that Argentinians in New Zealand and back home would be disappointed.

“I liked the game, I congratulate the Germans. I am disappointed, and I’m sure people back home will be too, but we’re proud.”

At the end of the game sweatshirts zipped up for the Wellington cold also served to hide the albiceleste (the white and sky blue in Spanish) colours, as supporters hung their heads and quietly exited the bar.