'In disbelief': Three fans share stories from being at Socceroos v Germany in 2011

Following the full match Premiere on the Socceroos social media accounts, we recount three very different accounts from three supporters who attended Australia's friendly against Germany in 2011.

Ben Christian, who was in a long-distance relationship with his Frankfurt-based girlfriend Wibke (now his wife), travelled to Germany to meet up with his companion and watch the Germany vs Socceroos friendly.

After the green and gold’s 4-0 defeat to Germany less than a year ago, he was not exactly confident. He hoped that Australia would compete and walk away with a respectable scoreline.  

Christian even wore his Socceroos gear around Mönchengladbach in the days leading up to kickoff, despite warnings from his girlfriend's parents not to get his hopes up.

"While dropping us off at the stadium, my girlfriend's mother was telling her that she shouldn't let me get too excited because it seemed inevitable that Germany would beat the Socceroos and I'd only end up being disappointed," he said.

Lucas Neill Socceroos Australia Germany
The Socceroos celebrate a goal v Germany

"She wasn't meaning to be arrogant in any way, she was just legitimately concerned that I was getting my hopes up too much."

But when he arrived at the stadium, it was lit up in green and his hope was restored.

Despite going down a goal early in the first half, Christian always had faith that the Socceroos could get something out of the match.

"When Carney's goal went in, I just sprung to my feet and started celebrating wildly," he recalled.

"We were sitting behind the goal, but with the home fans - the away bay with fellow Aussies was further to the right of where we were sitting. 

"Obviously, they were going nuts, and so was I, but I quickly realised that nobody around me in our area was impressed so my celebrations became a bit more muted.

"I sat back down with a huge smile on my face only to jump up again a few minutes later when Harry was penalised in the box. 

"When I saw the net bulge from the penalty kick, I again was trying to contain my celebrations but I was just ecstatic."

When the match finished, Christian laughed with his girlfriend's parents and he made sure that they knew the result.

And although they were happy for him, they issued him with a warning.

"They were pretty happy for me, but I was told that I wasn't allowed to go to any more Germany matches," he joked.

Not all the Germans were supporting just the Die Mannschaft that night at Borussia Park with one fan in particular cheering on both sides.

Angelo Deckert was born in Germany and supports the national team but had garnered quite an affiliation with the Socceroos after being based in Australia throughout the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

“In the morning I watched the games, on TV or in the sports bar. I got to know a lot of Australians who watched the German games with me,” Deckert said.

“A love for Australian football (the Socceroos and the Matildas) and the people down under developed. A way to get excited about other teams that I only know to a limited extent from Germany.

“It was a great experience and that's when I became a Socceroos fan. On none of my many trips have I felt as welcome and at home in a country as I did in Australia. That impressed me very much.”

His time down under led to somewhat of a rethinking in terms of where his allegiance lies.

“I would describe my passion as 50-50. The German and Australian flags also hang next to each other in the tournament,” he said.

“That alone causes incomprehension for some.”

Deckert was amongst the sea of German fans in the stadium in Gladbach that night with only a spattering of Socceroos fans in attendance.

“Here and there Socceroos fans could be recognised individually. It felt a bit exotic,” he said.

As the Socceroos equalised, the German fans were quick to let their feelings be know with a chorus of whistles cutting through the stadium.

“When it became 1-1 in the second half, the first whistles were heard, because they had hoped for more from the game,” he recounted.

“After going down 2-1, the mood wasn't that good anymore, it was the referee's fault, and I was asked if I wasn't ashamed of being against my own team.

“I myself was surprised, but with the lead I had a little partying with the other Australian near me, but the frustration of the German fans was strong.

“After the final whistle, the Germany fans wanted to get out of the stadium quickly. There were many dissatisfied whistles to be heard, after all, they had just lost to an underdog.

“Not to forget, even for German standards, a lot of money was paid for a friendly game.”

Deckert enjoyed the whole matchday experience and shared a special moment with a mother and son before that match that he will not forget anytime soon.

“I arrived at the stadium quite early before the game in Gladbach. An Australian student and his German mother spoke to me,” he said.

“We drank a beer together and talked partly in German and partly in English. It was an encounter like I had before in Australia.”

Deckert’s experience was just slightly different to that of Aussie Michael Caddy who was the odd one out amongst the German fans in the stadium that evening.

“It was the first Socceroos match I had been to. I had holidays booked in Europe before the game was announced, then made a special trip to Monchengladbach just for the game,” Caddy said.

Socceroos Germany Australia 2011
Michael Caddy (L) with a

“I was sitting eight rows back near the centre line amongst the German fans. I was being heckled all night, especially once Germany scored the first goal, but it was all in good fun.

“Everyone was laughing and having a good time. Australia take the lead and I’m the only person in a 10 metre radius cheering. Truth be told, I’m the only person in the stand I was in cheering.”

Caddy explained just how he and the German fans felt at the end of the match.

“Final whistle went and I think there was some disbelief around the stadium however all the German fans who were heckling me, all said Australia played well and deserved the win,” he recalled.

“I never expected for Australia to come away with the win. I think I was also in disbelief as nobody expected the result.”

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