Trecker’s Travels, Day Fourteen: All quiet

May 22nd, 2013

image

Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

By Jamie Trecker

LONDON - The city is quiet, pummeled into depression by a spring that has been anything but spring-like. The markets that line Camden Town and London Bridge, selling summer dresses and tank tops, have been despairing of takers. Most of their time has been spent sitting about, smoking cigarettes and swearing baroquely.

The Germans are coming, or so the papers tell us each morning. The problem is, they aren’t here yet, and when they get here, it’s unclear exactly what they will do. For reasons known only to UEFA, the Champions League fan fest won’t open until Thursday, and it is about as far from Wembley as one can get – it’s across London in Stratford. And news about the tournament? Well, once suspects that since no English team is in it, the less said the better.

In Trafalgar Square, across from the National Gallery, one of the viewing boards was just being put up. But there was little hint of any of this in Wednesday’s papers. The news was of Tony Pulis’ departure, Wayne Rooney’s curious choice for a baby name and the tale of Manchester City’s latest foray abroad. (The Sun, never one to miss a chance to put the boot in, had Frank Lampard doing just that in an “exclusive” interview about Rafa Benitez. Go on, Frank!)

image

Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

The fact is, London doesn’t seem very cheery about the prospect of this Champions League final. We heard tales of how 200,000 fans were going to descend on the city – and then little else. Did they not come? One enterprising vendor set up a stall with Germany’s national treat, the currywurst, only to find that at high noon, he was left reading the newspaper with a lot of left-over sausages. He and his cart had vanished by the time I returned this afternoon.

It all feels a bit anticlimactic. And yet, there is a game even further under the radar.

Spare a thought for the other final, the other one that will take place tomorrow at Stamford Bridge. That’s the UEFA Women’s Champions League final, and when you mention it, people look at you as if you’ve gone a bit batty.  “The what?” said one of my colleagues Sunday in Newcastle. “Oh, no, I’m not going to that.” (There was a more than a bit of disdain in that final word.)

Yes, it is a smaller event. But Megan Rapinoe is playing, and she poised is to make history, becoming the first American to play in a final. (Ali Krieger played in the precursor tournament, the UEFA Women’s Cup, and won a medal.) If Wolfsburg loses to Lyon, Rapinoe will join Jovan Kirovski as the newest member of a quite exclusive club.

We’ll be there. Coverage starts at 12 p.m. ET on FOX Soccer. Join us.

image

Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

This piece is part of a series of pieces sponsored by the new Samsung Galaxy S 4 phone. The pictures that accompany this blog post were taken with it. I’m travelling across Europe this month and you should tell me where you’d like me to go and what you’d like to hear about. Tweet me at @JamieTreckerFOX or use the #heytrecker hashtag @FOXSoccer

  1. wasteman4life reblogged this from foxsoccer
  2. oneinforall reblogged this from foxsoccer
  3. foxsoccer posted this