Copenhagen: The Football Weekender
Adam Hurrey's crusade to analyse, in excruciating depth, the unique language of football.
Thinking about planning a Scandinavian football weekend? Returning from a weekend in the Danish capital, today on the blog Adam Hurrey of Football Cliches shares his thoughts as FC Copenhagen makes 4-0 mess of league rivals Aalborg.
Copenhagen is an immaculate city, from its angular architecture to the unnervingly consistent conveyor belt of blonde women on bicycles. It's also palpably aware of its own impressiveness - Copenhageners have a contented air about them that Londoners could only dream of. Inspired by Danny Last's superb (but sadly discontinued) europeanfootballweekends.blogspot.co.uk, I went and lived that dream for a weekend...
Tempting as it was to opt for Carlsberg in its natural habitat, a visit (and a return visit) to Mikkeller - where craft beer and design agency chic collide - was one of the first priorities. The oustanding Nørrebro Bryghus added some hearty food to the equation, each course complemented by a glass of the good stuff from the on-site microbrewery.
The Scandinavian appetite for the Premier League meant that the weekend's televised action back in England was easy to find. One enthusiastic Manchester United-supporting local broke from his mother tongue (and defied the dubious goals panel) to herald Javier Hernandez as a "HAT-TRICK HEROOOO!" - Britain exports its football clichés well, it seems.
Copenhagen's impeccable approach to boozing extended to Lions & Barrels, one of the bars at the Parken Stadium. Swift service with a smile in a jovial atmosphere, much unlike anything you'd experience at the Emirates or Stamford Bridge, warmed the cockles ahead of a cold evening up in the stands.
Table-topping FC Copenhagen took on Aalborg BK in the good, old-fashioned four-sided surrounds of the Parken. FCK's relatively brief history (they are the result of a 1992 super-merger between established domestic giants Kjøbenhavns Boldklub and Boldklubben 1903) does at least match that of the Danish Superliga, the advent of which coincided with the national team "coming from the beach" to triumph at the European Championships. FCK have since won nine titles, their most recent coming at a canter in 2011 when a mere 26 points separated them from their nearest challengers. Reigning champions Nordsjælland, albeit distracted by the dizzy heights of the Champions League, remain the strongest challenger to Copenhagen's quest for a tenth title.
Aalborg, sitting in third place and just three points behind the hosts, promised to make it a tight encounter. Their travelling band of hardy souls may not, therefore, have been prepared for the blistering start FCK were to make. After only six minutes, a prodigious long throw by FCK's Brazilian midfielder Claudemir found its way to Nicolai Jørgensen, who hooked it home from six yards out. Out came the Poznan (or the "Grecque", as it's known in these parts) among the FCK hardcore behind their goal.
They didn't have to wait long to turn their backs with glee again. Five minutes later, Jørgensen got his second of the game - and his eighth of the Superliga season - with a towering header from a corner. Aalborg seemed resigned to their fate already, and were struggling to cope with the scheming Costa Rican midfielder Christian Bolaños and the buccaneering runs of Sweden's Pierre Bengtsson from left-back.
The hapless visitors' misery was compounded after 23 minutes, when another Claudemir long throw was turned into his own net by defender Kenneth Emil Petersen. With FCK camped in their half, it seemed inevitable that Aalborg would buckle once more and, five minutes before half-time, Bolaños was clumsily impeded in the area. César Santin, another of FCK's South American contingent, dispatched his penalty into the top corner.
As is always the case with first-half disembowelments, the second period was a mere procession, save for Bengtsson's lung-bursting forays. With temperatures plummeting so low that I was forced to gulp down my first ever coffee, I took heart from the FCK ultras who remained in good voice until the final whistle.
After all, people from Copenhagen have plenty to shout about.
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Read more of Adam's work on his blog Football Cliches
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Cold beer in the Danish captial must have been a warming welcome from the copenhagen fans, players, club and more important Parken with the players doing it's job. It sounds like you had fun standing with the FCK Ultras, who are called Urban Crew, behind the B-Tribune. Unlike Premiership, beer is served on the terrace and that could be enjoy during the game but due to the temperature, coffee or hot coco would be the ideal choice of the night. If you want goals, you got it, if you want ladies, you have them too, but most importantly is that you have football on the cheaps (compared to premiership prices), goals and atmosphere to go with you. Mind you, a kebab after the game or a beer afterwards in a pub would have top the evening off. Looking forward to your next visit.