Fan-spiration: “I fell in love with Bayern because of the Mia San Mia mentality”
Ever since he was a kid, Victor Klee loved football – after all, it’s a sport that comes with a lot of thrills and high intensity. He also kicked the ball around with his friends from time to time, but it was never more than a hobby.
The broadcast journalist from Nigeria says he became a supporter of Bayern Munich because he loves Germany and the club’s Mia San Mia mentality.
“For international competitions, I always support Germany but during the World Cup, I always pray that Germany and Nigeria don’t clash because I don’t know who to root for.” he says with a laugh.
Most Bundesliga fans in Nigeria – and Africa at large – watch the games via cable TV. In Port Harcourt, where Victor is based, he’s not really connected to other Bayern fans, but he knows there are quite a few of them in the Western and Northern part of the country.
“While the league was suspended last year, I formed a WhatsApp community of Bayern fans around the globe,” he explains, adding that connecting to other supporters has been amazing. “I don’t feel alone these days.”
Bayern means a lot to Victor, so he rarely misses a game. “Being a fan is all about the passion I have for the club – win or lose, I am still a Bavarian.”
This is an attitude that could and should be taken to heart by all Bayern supporters – especially on social media, where resentment and displeasure often spread like wildfire. But Victor feels that the negative comments often come from kids or teens who like to troll the club with nasty tweets – they literally have no idea what it means to support Bayern, he adds.
“Over the years, Bayern has been mainly on the winning side, so there’s always a natural tendency for the fans to react when things are not in the right shape, especially when it has to do with the decisions made by the board,” Victor offers another explanation.
While a lot of fans have been complaining about the drama that has surrounded the club recently – like a lack of quality transfers or the Brazzo vs. Flick saga – Victor still believes that the good outweighs the bad.
“If you look at the club critically and analytically, you wouldn’t be able to spot much that you could term faulty,” he explains. “I know rival fans from England will definitely talk about Bayern monopolizing the league – but I have no problem with that.”
His favorite player is Polish striker Robert Lewandowski – a true goal machine, as he puts it. “To be very honest, we couldn’t have won eight straight titles without his efforts.”
But when asked about his favorite moment as a supporter of FC Bayern, Victor spontaneously names one when Lewandowski wasn’t part of the team yet – worse, he was still in the losing side’s squad, Borussia Dortmund, when Bayern clinched their fifth Champions League title at Wembley in 2013.
Victor also still chuckles when he thinks about how Bayern managed to rout Messi’s Barcelona twice in a decade – with a scoreline for the history books. “I’m sure those are bedtime stories,” he laughs.
“On the other hand, having to lose against Manchester United with only a few minutes left in the 1999 Champions League final was really devastating,” Victor adds. He watched the game at a football viewing center, surrounded by Manchester United fans.
“The atmosphere was really lit, and I was a happy person for the better part of the game, until that Ole moment,” he recalls, referring to the dreadful instant when Ole Solskjær scored the winning goal for Manchester United in injury time – and left every single Bayern fan around the world in shambles.
Victor has yet to travel to Munich and experience the unique atmosphere of a live game at the Allianz Arena himself.
“Once the world is calm again and we get rid of this pandemic together, I will definitely do that,” he says. If he could choose, he’d love to witness “Der Klassiker” live.
“I would want to watch a proper traditional clash with our biggest rival,” he explains. “‘Der Klassiker’ is always very intense, with all bragging rights at stake for both clubs. It would really be different compared to watching at home.”
Follow Victor on Twitter @this_is_klee