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The never-ending magic of the Olympic Stadium in Munich

Many legendary football temples were immediately knocked down by the demolition crews after the players left. Think Highbury and White Hart Lane, and Vicente Calderón is no longer there either. Munich is different: in the Olympiastadion, it seems as if time has stood still for years.

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From Dutch Pain to Dutch Elation

It is no exaggeration to say that the Munich Olympiastadion has a place in the heart of every Dutch football fan. After all, Oranje played its two most often discussed international matches in history, which are passed down from generation to generation. First the pain of losing in the World Cup final in '74, then the unprecedented euphoria of '88. Cruijff's rush in the first minute, Gerd Müller's painfully slow goal, and later, of course, Marco van Basten's goal. From the commentary by Theo Reitsma to Rinus Michels with his hands over his eyes, we can all dream of it.

Football Temple from days gone by

Although the Olympiastadion only functioned as a football stadium for 35 years, it has delivered three centuries' worth of legendary moments. The German world title, Nottingham Forest won their first European Cup here, Olympique Marseille with the only Champions League win, and of course the famous – and often wrongly attributed to Stuttgart – warm-up by Diego Maradona. It all took place in the Olympiastadion, not to mention the countless victories of Bayern and 1860 Munich. But after the opening of the Allianz Arena in 2005, things changed.


Monument of Munich and Germany in general

Today the Olympiastadion is almost the same as it was then. The stadium, built for the 1972 Olympic Games, has a monumental status due to its great significance for the city of Munich, Germany in general and its special architecture. Ideal for football fans to soak up a little bit of Munich football history. Accessible every day, and for a few euros you can walk around freely through the stadium. But now football is back, there is a great opportunity for younger generations and older alikewho have never had the chance to visit this iconic temple.


Türkgücu München

The outcome? Türkgücü München, or shall we say, the Türkiyemspor of Munich. Founded in the 1970s by Turkish immigrants, it has recently moved into German professional football after a strong boom, leaving the city council of Munich with a problem. Suddenly there were four fully-fledged professional teams in the city, with only two stadiums in use. After 1860 Munich could no longer pay the bills, Bayern Munich had exclusive rights to the Allianz Arena, and the latter club already shared the Städtisches Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße with Bayern Munich's under-23s. As a result, only one full-fledged place within the city limits remained for Türkgücü: the 69,250-seat Olympiastadion.


A mix of Turkish and Bavarian Football Culture

Although Turkish music is played around the match and the goal music is Tarkan's biggest hit, the Turkish character of Türkgücü is not too over the top. Only two Turks remain in the lineup, and although the ten-strong hardcore still starts with the most famous cry from Turkish stadiums (bir, iki, üç, Türkgücü), the ancient German 'Auf geht's Türkgücü kämpfen und siegen' can be heard from the mixed group. Anyone who hoped to score a good dürüm döner or a nice köfte sandwich at Türkgücü will be disappointed: bratwurst with a Paulaner is what is served here, as was the same in the best Bayern years.


A chilly evening

It is never sold out, and even on this snowy evening, we have a maximum of 300 fans. Yet it gives a nice insight into the special stadium, with that unique tarpaulin roof, four enormous floodlights and two classic orange-black scoreboards. Despite all the nostalgia, you begin to understand why Bayern Munich wanted to leave here so badly: Cold, wind and snow also have free rein tonight and you are in any case tens of metres away from the pitch.


The Olympiastadion, a journey back in time

Ten minutes before the end, we had seen enough and decided to climb the Olympiaturm, right next to the stadium. From 189 metres up, you have a fantastic view over the Olympiastadion and we saw the rest of Türkgücü's 2-2 against FSV Zwickau, but that was not really our point.

For anyone who has never had the chance and still wants to taste something of the old Bayern, the Oranje history in Munich and all those other beautiful moments, a home game of Türkgücü can be a unique opportunity to experience the Olympiastadion to some extent. Despite being completely empty it remains an impressive place, and if you squint your eyes a little bit, you can see it all in front of you.

Images: Shutterstock, SANTSO