Excited about the upcoming month of football hysteria? Yes, football (and especially the World Cup) is primarily about disappointment. Any fan will tell you that. But, as Sepp Herberger, said, “After the game is before the game.” There is always next time.
For the players there is always that hope that they can deliver a miracle that the football gods will be smiling on them. Whilst for us… Well, the best we can hope for is a comfy chair, a decent view of the screen and a ready selection of cold beers to see us through the impending 90 minutes of anguish and pain.
And we’ve got plenty of options for that come June 12. The Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) goes full Brazilian with big-screen viewings and weekend concerts from samba to electronica. And of course, every bar, Späti and café in town will be dragging their TV out onto the street.
But in our opinion, there’s no better place to watch the Weltmeisterschaft than from the comfort of your own sofa… transplanted to the iconic home of FC Union, the Stadion an der Alten Försterei. Yes, the club from Köpenick is transforming the place into a huge living room, and they’re asking Berliners to bring their own comfy seating.
Apply to secure a place for your couch, which will join 749 others in front of their massive 700” screen. There will be beer on demand, the sound will be deafening and the atmosphere rocking. The only guarantee they can’t make? That your team will end up winning the damn thing.
FIFA World Cup, Jun 12-Jul 13, on TVs everywhere
HKW, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, Tiergarten, S+UBhf Hauptbahnhof
Stadion an der Alten Försterei, An der Wuhlheide 263, Köpenick, S-Bhf Köpenick
But if big-time accommodation for the big-time game isn’t your thing, here are a few other places to park your kiester for the World Cup:
Football in P’Berg shacks: Perpetually passionate football peeps don’t really need an excuse to sit among Tante’s wooden canopy/shacks, on a sandy base. They’re there anyways. This is not pretty, it’s football heaven. SW
Tante Käthe, Bernauer Straße 63-64, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str.
A Queer Cup: Nina Queer serves up Locker Room, hosting Germany’s biggest World Cup viewing for an LGBT crowd. Of course, the booze and bites and boys (on screen), all adds up to a bona-fide football fest. Commentary by Queer on the players’ backgrounds (and shorts) added extra… MH
Jun 12-14 | Comet Club, Falckensteinstr. 47, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Schlesisches Tor
It’s all about the beer: If you really couldn’t care less about the games, but don’t fancy a month of isolation because all your friends do – the good craft beer at Hops & Barley will increase your survival chances. HW
Hops & Barley, Wühlischstr. 22, Friedrichshain, U-Bhf Warschauer Str.
On the water: Badeschiff, our central pool on the river, screening the World Cup doesn’t need much explanation. If this damned heat keeps up, taking dips between matches may be the only way to go. MJ
Arena/Badeschiff, Eichenstraße 4, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Schlesisches Tor
For the brave: The mad, 24-hour Kneipe of Kreuzberg, Bei Schlawinchen, will definitely be World Cup crazy. The boozy regulars break from people-watching and catch a few matches, although you may be distracted by the bizarre décor. Plus, rumour has it that everyone gets a free shot when Germany scores – TOR! AM
Bei Schlawinchen, Schönleinstr. 34, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Schönleinstr.
The classic: If all else fails, there’s no shame in settling for a classic. Kastanianallee’s century-old Prater Garten provides a cozy setting in the heart of P’Berg for all your footballer needs. SG
Prater Garten, Kastanienallee 7-9, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str.
Originally published in issue #128