German national team’s Campo Bahia turned into a hotel

The scrutiny and the criticism of the German national team ahead of the World Cup concerned several different elements. Even environmentalists got on the DFB’s case, stating that building a five star resort, the so called Campo Bahia, solely for the national team players was irresponsible, especially given that the fact that there wouldn’t be any use for the lavish buildings after the World Cup was over. Furthermore, the resort is placed in a wildlife reserve, which is the home to many rare animals. The FIFA had, after all, offered a list of suitable hotels which the team could have used according to the critics.

As it turns out, those who were fearing the worsts for those lovely hotel surroundings – maybe even waking up at night being soaked in their own sweat because they were dreaming of Kevin Grosskreutz’s bed and the rest of the building rotting in the jungle – can breathe a sigh of relief. The German website Urlaubspiraten.de offers their customers to book a trip to the Campo Bahia. Fans can now sleep in the same rooms as their heroes did on their way to Germany’s first World Cup win since 1990.

However, being in those wonderful surroundings is rather expensive. The minimum duration for a stay is four days and costs 1396€. Included in that fee is the transport from and to the airport and a drink upon arrival according to the offer which is online now.

The importance of the right surroundings

Creating the right atmosphere has been one of the key moments in Die Nationalmannschaft’s way to the final at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller had criticised the mood within the team during the 2012 EUROs, pointing to it as one of the factors which had seen Germany fail in the end. This time around team manager Oliver Bierhoff and left little chance in their meticulous planning.

The Campo Bahia was designed to allow the players to relax and to breed a good atmosphere. Ahead of the World Cup the team themselves had insisted upon mixing the different villas with players from different teams. Few people would have thought ahed of the tournament that Dortmund player Kevin Grosskreutz would share his living space with Schalke’s Benedikt Höwedes and Julian Draxler , and Bayern’s Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger, and SC Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter.

Per Mertesacker said after the group phases that the spirit of the team would be tested “…when it’s time to make decisions which hurt players on an individual level”. Ironically, the Arsenal defender was among those players, but there is little doubt that he and the other players who had to watch the knock out matches from the bench put their own personal interests aside to help the team.

During and after the tournament the players were fond of pointing out how well they had been accommodated in the Campo Bahia. Bastian Schweinsteiger described the conditions as “simply sublime”, whilst Benedikt Höwedes told Welt.de:

“Next to the pool or at the bar the players could gather. If somebody needed time for themselves, they could retract to their own room. Creating such an atmosphere wouldn’t have been possible to create in a big hotel.”

Right now one could travel to the Campo Bahia and imagine what it must have been like for the German national team players to live their. However, it has already been revealed that Die Nationalmannschaft have caught plenty of moments on tape, showing the everyday life of the players during the World Cup. Former goalkeeping coach Sepp Maier recorded a lot of video material during the 1990 World Cup, which was later released as a documentary. Maybe one day the public is going to be allowed to see for themselves how the players were co-existing in their shared villas and in the common area during the tournament.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 32-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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