Dream final from 1974


“Nederland-Denemarken, live at the mensa”, reads a note at the entrance to the mensa at the Tongersestraat. It’s Monday afternoon, 13.45. Around 90 to 100 students and staff members are watching the big screen in the dining room. No yelling, no singing and no vuvuzelas. It’s so quiet that Nick Mulder, a second-year student of Economics, can still study. “I have to finish this before 16.00. I was already sitting and studying in the cafeteria before the game started. I didn’t feel like moving.” Isn’t he a football fan? “It’s fun, except for the noise of the vuvuzelas. But I’m a cyclist. If this were the Tour de France I’d be sitting right in front of the screen.” A few metres away, Stephanie Schaber from the United States is working on her bachelor’s thesis. “I’m also looking to see if anybody scores a goal. Holland’s playing. If they win the whole thing, I’ll at least have seen where it all began.”

Two female staff members from the secretariat of the finance department are sitting cosily together. They’re of course allowed to watch the Netherlands–Denmark match during working hours. Laughing: “Our boss is sitting next to us. We heard that the whole Berg is watching together in the Aula. If they can, we can too.” And anyway: “We can’t phone anybody, and nobody’s calling us.”

Next to them, an international group is having their lunch; two of them with their backs turned to the screen. It’s obvious that their national team isn’t playing.

Thies Lindenthal, a German researcher from the finance department, has two national teams, he says. “Germany and the Netherlands. I want the Dutch to win, just as the German team did yesterday. My dream final would be a replay of 1974. Yes, it’s true, I wasn’t even born at that time. But I still want that final – with the same outcome.”

Germany won, by the way.


Riki Janssen

Dream final from 1974
Loraine Bodewes Fotografie

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