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Living in Bayern standard time

With the German giants heading to the Capital, a few supporters drop their lives in the pursuit of happiness. Dhiman Sarkar reports.

sports Updated: Jan 07, 2012 02:08 IST
Dhiman Sarkar

One changed a flight ticket and skipped lunch because he had to rush to the airport while generally putting his life on hold. Another juggles three jobs, often at the expense of his graduation course in biochemistry. All this to ensure that they didn’t miss a practice game here on Thursday evening which Bayern Munich won 13-0.

In pursuit of happiness, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, said Christoph Walter, 23, during the morning’s training session here on Thursday. “It was only on Wednesday afternoon that I found out that Bayern had scheduled a game against a local team here. Since I was due here on Thursday evening, I had to request for an earlier flight and in two hours I was on my way from Munich,” said Andy Brueck.

Unlike Brueck and Walter, the rest of the quintet — comprising a baker, a painter and a guesthouse owner — who will be part of 50-odd Bayern fans travelling to New Delhi for the Audi Football Summit on Tuesday, didn’t want to talk or be photographed. Not all of them have told their wives, girlfriends, families and employers the truth about where they will be for the next six days and why. And that’s because, they said, not everybody understands this need to work their lives around the schedule of a football club.

Brueck is 40 and said he’s done that all his life. “It’s true that while on weekends and sometimes mid-week I am following Bayern, people my age spend time with families, friends and have a social life. I haven’t missed a single Bayern game in the Bundesliga, the Champions League or the German Cup in the last 20 years. And for every year since that first happened, I have been setting this target. I know it means nothing to anyone around me,” he said, while taping a fan club banner on to the railings at the training ground.

From when they won the IFA Shield in 2005 through Oliver Kahn’s club farewell game, Brueck has visited India everytime Bayern have come calling.

“But for Bayern, I wouldn’t have travelled outside Germany. I was in Doha last year (when Bayern held their first winter training camp here) and will now visit New Delhi. It would have been nice to see the Taj Mahal too but I wouldn’t have time,” said Christoph.

Asked how expensive doing this is and both refuse to talk figures. “It helps me relax,” Walter said. “I would rather not talk about that. It could make me sad,” said Brueck.