2 Days In Deutschland

When the draws for each UEFA Champions League knockout stage are made, everyone is often looking to see which matches can be covered, and how easily they can be covered. When I say easily, I mean – more often than not – cheaply. The moment the draw is done and the dates confirmed, hotels and airlines will inevitably hike their prices up to maximise their revenue. They know there will be enough demand to fill their planes and hotels. Unfortunately, it’s not always logistically possible for us as photographers to hop on the first available flight, or book into the nearest hotel to the stadium. Usually something will put a spanner in the works.

A potential European trip became immediately obvious when Manchester United were drawn against the holders, Bayern Munich, and were drawn to play each other in Germany the day after Real Madrid were due to play Borussia Dortmund just a few hours down the road.

The double-header was on.

After discussions with some colleagues, it was decided that we would go and cover both matches – and we’d be driving there.

 

UK – DORTMUND : 540 miles : 10 hours

DORTMUND – MUNICH : 380 miles : 6 hours

MUNICH – UK : 880 miles : 12 hours

 

It was a road trip of epic proportions, but there was nothing that could deter Matt Ashton from taking on the entire drive himself. He refused to let any of us behind the wheel of the black Mercedes, instead preferring to drive a total of roughly 1,800 miles all by himself.

Along with the ever-humorous Chris Brunskill, Cumbria’s finest, Phil Oldham, and a boot full of Think Tanks, Peli cases, rucksacks, and monopods, we journeyed halfway across the continent to photograph the cream of European football. We departed Nantwich at 05:45 on the Tuesday morning, and arrived back at 23:45 on the Thursday. Here’s what I have to show for it…I’ll let you decide if it looks like it was worth it!…

 

Cristiano Ronaldo wears a beanie hat as he goes for a stroll before Real Madrid's match against Borussia Dortmund
Cristiano Ronaldo wears a beanie hat as he goes for a stroll before Real Madrid’s match against Borussia Dortmund

 

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo takes photos on his personalised iPhone before the match
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo takes photos on his personalised iPhone before the match

 

A large watch and bracelet adorn the wrists of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, seen before kick-off
A large watch and bracelet adorn the wrists of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, seen before kick-off

 

Dark clouds loom over the Westfalenstadion as rain hammers down before the match
Dark clouds loom over the Westfalenstadion as rain hammers down before the match

 

Casemiro of Madrid tackles Henrik Mkhitaryan of Dortmund
Casemiro of Madrid tackles Henrik Mkhitaryan of Dortmund

 

Mats Hummels of Dortmund and Xabi Alonso of Madrid
Mats Hummels of Dortmund and Xabi Alonso of Madrid

 

Henrik Mkhitaryan of Dortmund misses after going around Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas
Henrik Mkhitaryan of Dortmund misses after going around Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas

 

Robert Lewandowski of Dortmund looks dejected following their defeat
Robert Lewandowski of Dortmund looks dejected following their defeat

 

Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp cups his ears to the crowd after his side's defeat
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp cups his ears to the crowd after his side’s defeat

 

Bayern fans wave a flag and tin foil trophy before their match against Manchester United
Bayern fans wave a flag and tin foil trophy before their match against Manchester United

 

Patrice Evra of Man Utd fouls Arjen Robben of Bayern
Patrice Evra of Man Utd fouls Arjen Robben of Bayern

 

Patrice Evra celebrates scoring Man Utd's 1st goal
Patrice Evra celebrates scoring Man Utd’s 1st goal

 

Man Utd manager David Moyes celebrates his side's goal
Man Utd manager David Moyes celebrates his side’s goal

 

Arjen Robben of Bayern gets away from Darren Fletcher of Man Utd
Arjen Robben of Bayern gets away from Darren Fletcher of Man Utd

 

Wayne Rooney of Man Utd looks dejected
Wayne Rooney of Man Utd looks dejected

 

Man Utd manager David Moyes looks clueless as his side crash to defeat
Man Utd manager David Moyes looks clueless as his side crash to defeat

 

Man Utd manager David Moyes appears to accept his side's fate as they crash out of the competition
Man Utd manager David Moyes appears to accept his side’s fate as they crash out of the competition

 

Phil Jones of Man Utd (L) and teammate Chris Smalling look emotional as they applaud the support after the match
Phil Jones of Man Utd (L) and teammate Chris Smalling look emotional as they applaud the support after the match
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