The Five Billion Person Party

Notes of a wandering American soccer fan

Liechtensteiners for the Day!

Posted by steigs on October 8, 2008

This weekend, tiny Liechtenstein is matched against Wales in World Cup qualifying, which must give the Welsh the unusual feeling of being the Goliath, not the David.  As you might expect, Liechtenstein is not bringing a big set of travelling fans, perhaps 20 in all.

But there’s going to be to be at least double that number cheering for the Liechtensteiners in Cardiff

A group of Darlington supporters are making a 560-mile round trip to Cardiff to cheer on their summer signing Franz Burgmeier, a Liechtenstein regular.

The Darlington fans will miss their own team’s game at Luton, which also takes place on Saturday.

The Liechtenstein football federation is so impressed by its new recruits, it is giving them free tickets.

Darlington is currently midtable in League Two — three divisions below the mighty EPL, in other words — so having an international player in the side is something of a novelty.  It’s one they’re growing to like: 

Ms Schneider said the Darlington supporters were also buying Liechtenstein merchandise online.

“In our online shop, our national shirt is something they like to buy and I get orders now from Darlington,” she said.

Burgmeier certainly says the right things in return:

“The lifestyle is different from Switzerland but the people have been very friendly and the players are really helping me,” explains Bergmeier.

“I like the British lifestyle. They are nice people, they don’t worry too much about things.”

“I think Darlington should be in a higher division,” he said. “Look at the stadium. The club should be in at least League One or the Championship.”

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