November 23, 2012 by Matt
A few weeks ago I was excited to see realise that the Danish football champions, FC Nordsjælland were in the Champions League, and that would present some excellent chances to see top flight football not far from home.
Watching football in London with any of the ‘big teams’ has become so expensive and often difficult to get tickets, so I was definitely excited to go along to the Danish national stadium, Parken, where FCN would play their home Champions League games rather than their own stadium further north. The club were selling tickets for these ties as a package of 999 kr for all three games, so about £35 a game. Not bad value, I thought. They went on sale when I was honeymoon, so Eric, who lives just up the road from Parken, got us tickets along with his wife Cecelia – for Americans, they show a pleasingly open attitude to “soccer” and I commend them for that!
First up was Chelsea (left), the reigning champions of Europe, back in October. The scoreline was a flattering 0-4 to Chelsea. I had to miss the second game, which turned out to be FCN’s best home result with a 1-1 draw with Italian side Juventus. And then this week saw the visit of Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk, some people’s dark horses for the whole competition.
The best came last because it was a great spectacle of a match – unfortunately for all the wrong reasons for FCN, who I was wholeheartedly supporting. This isn’t a football blog and I’m not a football writer, so I won’t go in to too much detail, instead pointing you towards this news report from the BBC, where pleasingly it seems like some late justice may at least be administered, but it was one of the most shocking acts of bad sportsmanship I’ve ever seen. For shame, Shakhtar, for shame!
Still, mustn’t grumble – seven goals were scored (alas, 5 by the Ukrainians), and it was a brilliantly fun evening with friends in a decent stadium, which didn’t cost an arm and a leg to attend. Even the beers, in their nifty cardboard carrier below, weren’t eye-wateringly expensive. Roll on 2013…