Everything was different the sixth time. Five times thomas muller had already won the dfb cup, five times the emotions on the improvised stage in berlin’s olympiastadion had overpowered him.
But on this saturday, when looking through the empty arena, the bayern star was overcome by a wistful feeling. "It’s a bit of a sad moment," muller said after munich’s 4-2 win over bayer leverkusen: "at the victory ceremony, i had a thoughtful minute. It’s not the same without fans. And the same already. Therefore it hurts a little bit."
The lack of spectators on saturday was more painful than ever before in almost 300 ghost matches in the three professional leagues and the cup. The only thing left of the usual "goose bumps" atmosphere at the climax of german club soccer was the rain of confetti and a champagne shower for bayern coach hansi flick. Muller’s teammate leon goretzka was thus "made to see what was missing".
However, the head office of the german fubball already created cautious optimism again on the weekend about the imminent end of the corona-tristesse. Despite the ban on coarse events, the german fubball federation and the german fubball league seem to be in good spirits that even before 31. October already sporadic fans in the stadiums durfen.
According to DFL boss christian seifert, the prerequisites are a hygiene concept and the tracking of visitors. "We are working on such a guideline, there are first thoughts, which we exchange with the federal ministry of health," seifert told the "frankfurter allgemeine sonntagszeitung".
In the spring, the DFL launched a concept for the end of the bundesliga season that was praised around the world and ultimately successful. Now the "next rough challenge is to establish a regular operation in this corona situation," said seifert. It seems clear that really full stadiums are still utopian in the long term.
"We are still at the beginning, i don’t think the thing will be over in march of next year," said seifert, but announced that the DFL will continue to look for solutions and relaxations. "We must act despite the crisis, we must not resign ourselves and accept that it controls us," he said: "giving up is not an option for me."
Because no one wants to experience such a final. No player. No fan. No functional. Although it was a positive side-effect that the berlin police did not record a single call-out due to misbehaving fans in the capital around the final. And although hardly anyone missed the supporting program à la helene fischer from the old days. But there were also no colorfully dressed supporters, hardly any atmosphere and far fewer emotions.
DFB president fritz keller was "pained in the soul" at the sight of the empty range decorated in the club colors. Leverkusen’s fan representative andreas paffrath told the express: "it feels like going to a party and the DJ has forgotten his music."
In the end, all those involved agreed. "There’s only one alternative: we have to do it again next year," said flick about celebrating without fans in his first final as head coach. Leverkusen club boss fernando carro also saw "a nice motivation to reach the final again next year". And berlin’s mayor michael muller has already promised: "next year we’ll be celebrating all the more."