In the thick of it…

As part of DW’s sports coverage I was recently asked to go to Germany’s EURO 2016 qualifier in Gelsenkirchen. I had to do a live telephone interview before and after the game, a written post-match report and I also recorded and cut soundbites from the players, for our English language radio shows too.

It was a treat to be given the chance to report from the game, as we often have to do so much football journalism from our desks these days. The match ended in a 1-1 draw – which felt like a loss for the Germans – but irrespective of what the local fans thought: I still had a great time.

It’s a bit of a challenge after the final whistle blows to get all your jobs done at the same time. I asked questions of Joachim Löw in the post-match press conference, jostled with players and reporters in the mixed zone and even spoke to the (disappointed) German and (elated) Irish fans, before I sat down at midnight to write my report. But I managed it okay.

The highlight of the evening was definitely speaking to Jerome Boateng though. He’s a cool guy from Berlin, with a understated attitude. He’s copped a lot of criticism over the years but he hasn’t let it bother him and these days, he’s one of the leaders in Löw’s team. Not surprising really, as the young side finds itself rebuilding after the World Cup.

I must say, I was thankful that my colleagues back at base were writing our “get-it-up-as-fast-as-possible” match report in the hectic minutes after the game. After all, the Irish team scored their equalizer right in the last moment of injury time. I’ve never seen so many journalists so quiet, as all of them frantically re-wrote their match reports!

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