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The World Seen With  A Football Fan's Eye

RC Strasbourg

22.11.2013 NATIONAL 2013/2014
RC Strasbourg - Orleans 1:0


I made a somewhat crazy call and bought the tickets on the club's website. Instead of the tickets in pdf format (as is usually the case) I received a somewhat vague mail which I printed out "just in case". I showed it then to various individuals including safety guards at the stadium gates yet it attracted hardly any attention since a) was in German and b) honestly, I have to admit the idea of getting the tickets for a French 3td tier league match was indeed a pure craziness. A lady in a bright safety vest showed us some mercy finally and we were delighted to enter the stadium.
RC Strasbourg can boast with a pretty rich history: established in 1906, it was changing hands: from French to German (Alsace) and back to French again. It is one of six French clubs who won the three most important national trophies: championship (1979), cup (1951, 1966, 2001) and league's cup (1997, 2005). The club lacked financial stability which led to several relegations to the lower leagues. Season 2010/11 ended up with the worst downfall to date: relegation to the 4th tier league due to loss of financial liquidity. A Polish accent: Henryk Kasperczak was the team coach who won the Ligue 2 competition in 1987/88 season.
The stadium is spacious: it can theoretically host as many as 29 thousand spectators, yet clearly neglected. On the Friday evening, most probably due to lack of any better alternative, around 9 thousand people showed up at Stade de la Meinau, including a small group of the visitors' fans - few among those appeared "ultras" and watched the match half-naked (end of November).
The match was far from being a thrilling spectacle however the closing minutes deserve respect and admiration: RC Strasbourg scored the goal in extra time taking advantage of the guest defender's muff. He cried long time after the final whistle. Tough men supposedly never cry - and here you are - emotions prevailed. I would dedicate the goal to all fools (hard to find any other suitable term) who left the stadium a few minutes before the match end and saw neither the goal nor the players' euphoria.