The omens are good. The German Embassy in the quiet lanes of Shanti Path turned raucous twice in the month gone by. On both occasions, many — German and Indian — came to see if Germany’s national football team would give them something to cheer for, in big games versus fancied opponents. Match one was against Portugal, where it won by four goals. The second was the semifinal, a game that will go down in football folklore: 7-1 to the Germans over a hapless Brazil side shorn of its two biggest stars.
And as the Embassy prepared for the World Cup final, there are many who believe that they were the German national team’s lucky charm. Officials of the Embassy, which hosted similar match screenings in 2010 as well, said the party for the final would be the grandest so far.
“In the semifinals, we had close to 400 guests who came to the Embassy to watch the game. For the finals, more than 600 have already confirmed and that number will only swell. We are creating a mini stadium here where we will cheer for the German team,” a spokesperson of the Embassy said.
Embassy officials said two large screens had been set up at two separate viewing venues. When Newsline visited the Embassy hours before the game began, one large screen had been placed inside a hall with a largely formal setting for dignitaries. Outside, where the German experience was in full force, a screen had been placed in front of several rows of traditional beer benches.
“Setting up the Embassy for the game was a huge exercise. We had planned the venue months in advance. Bureaucrats, diplomats and celebrities have been invited to watch the finals with us,” Ravi Sharma, senior adviser, Press and Information, Embassy of Germany, said.
Despite invitees being from various countries, the majority India, one thing at the Embassy is clear. This will be a partisan crowd. Right from the red Ambassador filled with custom-made footballs with Germany written across, to large posters of Manuel Neuer, Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Andre Schurrle, there is no room for Argentina here.
“They (Argentina) may be good, but in the last two matches the aggregate score for Germany was 11-1. Even Messi cannot fight that,” an Indian member of the Embassy staff said.