Posted: 7/6/2006


  Only 3 more matches-Wow, has it gone that quick? Tonight at Allianz Arena, Saturday in Stuttgart and THE BIG ONE in Berlin on Sunday.
The Allianz Arena has a transluscent shell, as you have seen. I looked closely from the inside at the strip lighting. Red when FC Bayern are playing, light blue when 1860 Munchen are at home, and white for other matches.
Up the escalators to the hallowed halls-the FIFA VIP section, and a gold ceilinged room with creaking banquets full of food and LOTS of personalities.
"Hey there Arsene(Wenger) .Stop shoving. Haven't you seen caviar at Highbury?"
Well we have lots of finger food to start with. Green asparagus tips with balsamic vinegar, 'Himmel und Erd' (Heaven and Earth)-Boudin Noir with mashed apple potatos. Blinnis with caviar and fresh cream.
  Appetizers: Snow crab tartar on lutus flower root. Ikari salmon marinated with chilli, black sesame, seaweed and orange peel and lightly smoked overy hickory beech wood. California rolls with avacado and cucumber. Chilled pea mint soup.
    On to the main courses. Cod on truffled cream kohlrabi with crisp
: Oven roasted spice rubbed Entrecote, with new green beans, green cauliflower and rosemary potatos: Red Thai curry with prawns, snow peas, leeks, sprouts and Jasmine rice DE-LICIOUS!!: Pasta with hot tomato sauce served with olive oil, parmesan cheese, red and green pesto.
     Well, time to move around and chat. First is Michel Platini, legend from France and Juventus and President of the France 98 Committee. I told him about an amazing memory of him when I was invited to his farewell match France vs The World at Nancy Lorraine about 1987.
With 10 minutes left the announcer said' leaving the field Michel Platini. Entering the field Lorent Platini, his 12 year old son who played 10 minutes for France. FIFA grumbled of course, but it was a MAGIC moment.
  There is Leo Benhacker ex Holland and Real Madrid coach, and this year with Trinidad. Berti Vogts, legendary captain of Borrusia Moenchengladbach and West Germany, but not so successful coaching Germany and Scotland.
Bora Mulitenovic coached 5 differerent countries to the 2nd Round, including USA 94. Dominic DeVillipin, Prime Minister of France. I was about to discuss European farm subsidies, but my mouth was full-another time perhaps.
Then to the Kaizer. I reminded him of the action photos I had taken for him of younger son Stefan Beckenbauer at the 1979 Waldrudering Cup. He also wanted to know what was wrong with USA 2006. He signed my ticket and I said "Die nachster Beckenbauer est speiler im Texas" Was is die namen Ron".. "The name is BRODY HICKEY" I'll remember that for 2014, and he strolled off.
Boris Becker tried to sit in my friend Georg Hohensteigers seat, but I said " Clear off Ginger Balls"  Love 40! you are in the next section'. Next to me was the President of FC Augsburg and a former national player and the seat in front Cubillas the greatest ever Peruvian player star at Argentina 78. I complemented him on his well mannered sons, one of who played at Central Florida with Patrick Fraley  who I have met in the sports marketing business.
Alongside is Hellmut Haller also from Augsburg and West Germany at Sweden 1958,
62 and 66 World Cups and then at Juventus.
  Despite a full srength Portuguese squad they just can't crack the French defence despite Christiano Ronaldo's tricks. He is booed every time he touches the ball. ZZ -Zinadene Zidane in his penultimate game scores from the penalty spot after Henri is brought down. NO classic like the 1970 WC Semi final I watched in Azteca Stadium in 1970. 4-3 after extra time with five of the goals in extra time and Beckenbauer playing with a sling.
OH, I had forgotten desserts.
Extra thin tartlettes with light Viennese vanilla cream and fresh
fruit: Berlin berry pudding with Tahitian vanilla foam: Chilled fresh seasonal fruit: Fresh strawberries
with orange sugar and cream.
Well we do have a half time, complete with French champagne and Lobster Burgers with seafood mayonnaise.
  So only two more matches, in Stuttgart and Berlin.
We let the crowd disperse and finish off the evening with Specialty sausages, meat patties, assortment of Leberkase and fresh oven quiches plus coffee.
Touch going this World Cup travel.