This was a clash between two of the better teams in the German football league, Bundesliga, so it’s better to get tickets prior to the game even though Olympiastadion has one of the most seats in a stadium in Europe. I still think that going to this stadium is still more enjoyable than the other parts of Berlin although it is nice to go see the Berlin Wall (the remnants of it) and Checkpoint Charlie.
Unlike the last time that I went to a RB Leipzig game, there was a bit less police this time around which was nice to see. I think diehard German football fans have slowly and begrudgingly have accepted Leipzig as a mainstay within Bundesliga despite the team’s connections to the Red Bull company through its colors, name, logos, etc. But the team has done well to separate itself from the energy drink that it promotes as FIFA (governing football association) allowed RB Salzburg to play against RB Leipzig one time in the Europa League. Someone in a funny way called it Red Bull Lite (the RB team in Salzburg, Austria) vs Red Bull Normal (Leipzig) because Leipzig ended up winning the game. I’m sure the shareholders and owners of Red Bull didn’t care who won since it was a win or win scenario for them.
But in Berlin, it was a different story as the Blues (Hertha BSC) and the Reds (RB Leipzig, not Union Berlin which is another football team) went head to head with each other in a sort of East Germany Derby since no one other team in East Germany is in the first league. The stadium was quite packed probably because both teams were still in the chase to make it as a top 4 or 5 Bundesliga team in order to qualify for Champions League or Europa League, which means more games, more ticket and concessions sales, more TV showings, more prestige, and overall more money for the club to spend on. That’s why even if the team doesn’t win the League Championship, it’s still important to get a top 4-5 finish because it sets the club up for next year. For example, Atletico Madrid finished third place in La Liga in Spain but still played and won the Europa League trophy. They ended up playing against the Champions League winners, Real Madrid, for the European Super Cup in the following season and Atletico won the trophy. So it meant that their season, which only begun, was already a success because they won a major trophy.
That’s why it’s a critical juncture in the season right now as we’ll see who are the pretenders and who are for real as we’ll see on the standings who is good and who is not. The reason why I say this is because I’ve seen teams do well in the beginning of the season and then falter as the season goes as well as teams that struggle in the beginning but slowly regain their form to win the league, kind of like what Bayern Munich did in the 2017-18 season. Well, in this case, it was clear cut who the better team was: RB Leipzig. They easily had more possession, control, dictated the majority of the game, and most importantly, had 3 goals to none against Hertha BSC.