I love football and in particular being at a live game. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a national stadium or a playing field, it’s all good, and I get something from every match that I attend. In this case it was the former, as Wales hosted Croatia in a 2020 European qualifier.
On a personal level though the enjoyment stretches beyond just the ninety minutes. When you think about it, as football fans we travel many miles and probably don’t want to consider just how much it costs us, as we pursue the game that we love.
What I do is to make the most of the wider experience, so in this instance I arrived late afternoon with my wife, as we had our usual walk around the city of Cardiff. We’ve been there many times now, so I didn’t do a specific blog entry, as they’re pretty much repeats of previous visits.
Familiarity certainly doesn’t breed contempt though and we always enjoy our time in the capital of Wales. It’s not just taking in what goes on away from the stadium though but also what happens closer to it that I also enjoy.
When I go somewhere for the first time I always try and walk the outside of the ground itself, especially when it’s an impressive set-up. I’ve already done that before at the Cardiff City Stadium, so this time it was a brief taking in of the atmosphere that side of the entry point before going into the ground itself.
I always like to be in early for the build-up to kick-off. Whether it’s the players warming up, observing media in action (lots of TV activity for this game) or maybe a special feature. This time round there was a light show just before the players came out that you can watch below.
I don’t have any pre-match rituals other than to make the most of the day rather than just the ninety minutes or so of the game. After all, I set off from home at 1.00 p.m. and arrived back more than twelve hours later, so the more you can spread the experience, the better as far as I’m concerned.
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