July 11th 2018
Today could’ve been a truly memorable night, but instead, I’d rather forget it. England were playing Croatia in a World Cup semi final, and I was watching it at the Fanmeile in Berlin, surrounded by thousands of England fans.
The atmosphere was amazing. For 120 minutes we chanted our little hearts out, but, alas, the chants weren’t enough. At some point you’ve actually got to really on the football.
When England took the lead the place erupted. I ended up on a random man’s back: such was the vociferity of our celebrations.
We were a bit less noisy when Croatia’s first goal went in, and even quieter when their second one did. The songs weren’t enough, and England lost.
I got to experience elation, joy, hope, sadness, nervousness, anguish, heartache and acceptance all within one match. I just wish those emotions happened in the reverse order.
If England had’ve qualified that place would have been magnificent: it would have exploded. Instead, the clouds did.
As soon as the full time whistle went, the clouds opened, and the rain came down. Pathetic fallacy, if you will. It cleared the crowds as people ran to the exits. And I carried on running all the way back to the hotel — the whole three miles (except the last stretch, for which I got the bus).
I got drenched. My clothes are ruined and so are all of the Euro notes I had left in my wallet. The speaker on my phone is full of water.
Until tomorrow, it could have been a really, really good day.