"When the waiter said 11, I presumed he meant the cost of the round not the strength of the bloody beer."
|Lille OSC 0-3 Vfl Wolfsburg. Stade Pierre-Mauory.|
And that is why, two weeks before the big man in a red suit does his rounds we were boarding the Eurostar to Lille. Regular readers will know that despite being more than happy to watch any German team, I do actually support one - Vfl Wolfsburg. This came about because of a long winded obsession with Schteve McClaren and although the man of a thousand accents may have long since departed Volkswagen Arena, the love for Die Wolfe remains.
|Standard ferris wheel and giant tree|
|Lille Christmas Market - frankly, a disappointment|
|Mulled beer - as disgusting as it sounds|
|Drink driving laws differ in France|
|Pay attention in GCSE French, otherwise you can end up|
erroneously ordering an 11% beer in a ridiculous glass
|20 beers on tap = BEER HEAVEN|
Stade Pierre-Mauroy was around a 20 minute metro ride from the city centre. It opened in 2012 and is built a long way out of town but with surrounding hotel complexes, restaurants and bars you can arrive there reasonably early and have plenty to do - namely, more drinking. The stadium itself looks suspiciously like the Allianz from the outside until you get closer and realise the entire exterior is in fact transparent.
|Stade Pierre-Mauroy's transparent exterior|
|Lille OSC - decent home ground|
|Not the only English idiots supporting Wolfsburg it would seem...|
This was a good move as Wolfsburg went onto add another two goals through the seasonal figure of Jesus Christ look-a-like Ricardo Rodriguez. That despite going down to ten men thanks to a red card for Joshua Guilavogui. Lille couldn't find a way past the inspired Diego Bengalio, who even saved a penalty to preserve the clean sheet and 3-0 win to send Die Wolfe into the knockout stages and a meeting with Sporting Lisbon.
|Ole ole ole!|
One of the golden rules of football trips abroad is never go to an Irish bar but we abandoned that to visit O Scotland - the French don't do irony or a sense of humour in general so this must have been a genuine mistake in terms of naming. The reason for ignoring that long held guideline? The place was packed with the strange mixture of Wolfsburg fans and delegates from a French/British conference on ecology that was taking place in the city.
|Discussing football.....and ecology in O Scotland|
All of which we were naturally fluent in by the time that 3am rolled around and O Scotland was shutting for business. Who knew that female chamois in France age faster than those in Switzerland? It is amazing what 11% beer can help you learn.
|The Wolfsburg massive|
|Good nights work for Die Wolfe|
|Stade Pierre-Mauroy empty as the Wolfsburg fans are locked in|
Vfl Wolfsburg: Diego Bengalio, Sebastian Jung, Naldo, Robin Knoche, Ricardo Rodriguez 2, Vieirinha 1 (Bernard Malanda Adje), Ivan Perisic, Kevin De Bruyne (Daniel Caligiuri), Luiz Gustavo, Joshua Guilavogui, Ivica Olic (Bas Dost).