Countries, Europe, Sport

The Essen Socca Sixes World

I’m thinking I hung up my boots too early… I’ve only been sent a personal invitation to The Essen Socca Sixes World Cup.

Perhaps, my efforts on the Meadowbank indoors court reached the Ruhr region of Germany.

Particularly a solo goal when I rounded the whole opposition and my own team to slide one home, perhaps my last goal.

Of course, the Ruhr region is the beating heart of German football.

Yellow wall: Dortmund’s stadium

And the Socca World Cup is just the lift they need following Borussia Dortmund’s heartbreaking near miss for the Bundesliga title to nemesis Bayern Munich.

And don’t just take our word for it, well do, but the German Football Museum (and me last month) is there.

Where Der Mannschaft’s four World Cups (count them, as many victories as Scotland have won games in WC competitions) are celebrated.

And one proud Essener, Helmut Rahn, who played for Rot-Weiss.

And scored two goals in the final over the Magnificent Magyars, including the winner.

A new pitch

Nae messin’: Essen

Helmut is alas long since now up in the sky having a kickabout with the rest of those German heroes of 1945.

But that only means there is an opening for a new Essen hero, or at least another World Cup winner, deep in the heart of this Ruhr city.

You’ll have heard me rave about the Esseners’ efforts at rebuilding itself into a post-industrial, cultural destination for visitors.

And they have shown ingenuity again by erecting a six-a-side stadium in the middle of the city.

EMG Managing Director Richard Rohrhoff takes up the story, saying: ‘Not many people dare to build a stadium in the middle of a city centre.”

‘The pictures of this World Cup and thus of Essen are going around the world.

‘It’s great advertising for the city and tourism in Essen.”

Platz where to go

World in my hands: The World Cup in Dortmund

Forty-four teams from five continents will compete against each other over games of 40 minutes each.

Not only are the game lengths shorter but a team also consists of only six players with the pitch only 46 by 27 metres.

If you want to watch the game, simply go to the mobile stadium in Kennedyplatz.

And btw, neighbouring Schalke 04 have a real-size pitch they wheel into their ground every game).

The Kennedyplatz stadium seats around 3,000 people and admission is free.

Or watch the games live on DAZN which broadcasts around the world.

Germany open up against Cyprus tomorrow, June 2, at 9pm.

Best bar none

You win, you loos: The quirky bar urinal

One place certainly to watch the match if you can’t get in and are in Essen is the 11 Freunde Die Bar (11 Friends Football Bar).

Where the only thing I could hit was the novelty ball and goal in the toilet urinal that they have in the gents.

And, of course, this is just another example of one of the world’s great myths that the Germans do not have a sense of humour.

So take in The Essen Socca Sixes World Cup.

Friends: Where everbody knows der name

Because all us amateur after-work footballers can identify with it and believe we should be playing in it.

And remember that Germany is just a Lufthansa flight away from all major airports.

And as well as free attendance for the Socca, the soccer is also far better-priced than the English Premier League.

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