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For the joy of budding football players: the FIFA World Football Museum (Zürich)

world cup at FIFA World Football Museum

Are you fond of football? Are your children fond of football? Well, I am not – but my little one is crazy about it. What we do not know, is where this craze comes from… not from the parents (us!), not from the grandparents, not from the school mates, not from the teachers… So it must be from his uncle. When it came to visiting the FIFA museum in Zurich, however, he bailed out and I had to go! How about the visit? It was amazing, but do not tell anyone I said so, ok?  

The FIFA World Football Museum

One Saturday morning in November we took a train to Zurich and headed for the Enge neighborhood, where the FIFA World Football Museum is located… The museum is brand new, modern and hyper-technological, interactive and suitable to all ages, adults included. I believe that this FIFA “container” FIFA was created specifically to house the museum: first, they planned the content and only then thought of the exhibit halls.

the building of the FIFA Museum

Such a wonderful place did not cost peanuts… so take a seat and I tell you about the money spent: 140 million Swiss francs. Obviously, if you are to spend such a fortune, the least you could do, is to come up with a spectacular place. And indeed, it is! Taking all this into consideration, the admission price is acceptable, and if you own a Raiffeisen Member Plus Card entrance is free.

We go in and immediately we find ourselves in front of a very colorful sight: the 209 football shirts of the 209 FIFA national teams, displayed (thank goodness!) by color. We look for ours, the Swiss and the Italian – then start hunting for “unexpected” ones: we find Gibraltar, Yemen, South Sudan, Turks and Caicos…

Turn and turn… and make a player

What to see on the lower floor of the  FIFA World Football Museum

Then we head downstairs, where among all sorts of football-related objects (often rare and precious) we find her: the world cup in all her glory. Other things we saw – in random order: the first footballs and the first rudimentary football shoes, the seats of the most famous football stadiums, a photo booth where you can have your picture taken inside the Maracana stadium (we never received by email the photo, though), another booth with monitor, headphones and a microphone to pretend you are a sportscaster and a lot more.

When you finish your visit on this floor – watch out, at first I did not understand it – there is a small 180-degree cinema that you have to enter in order to watch a short movie celebrating the greatest football episodes of all time. This viewing is compulsory because when the short film is over, a door opens and you enter an elevator which will take you to the first floor (it is the only way to get there).

One of the ability games

What to see on the first floor of the  FIFA World Football Museum

The first floor is the most fun of all, as it is full of interactive games, for kids and grown-ups – this is also the place where you will recognize grown-ups by their look, not by their behavior. To take part in the games you need to register (this is another thing I had not understood at first!), using your admission ticket. Everyone is given a random name… the one that my son received had a pleasant African-sounding charm, but I really could not tell you if it had been made up by the computer or if it belongs to a real football player.

There are ability games – of different sorts – with a final score. The most sought-after seemed to be the huge pinball, where you use your foot and a ball to score points. Other games measure your marksmanship or dribbling skills. They are all great fun. There’s also a souvenir shop, a sports bar, a cafeteria and a library.

Germany 2006

Am I allowed to find a flaw in this museum? Yes? Thanks. Being in Switzerland, with four national languages (German, French, Italian, and Romansh), I was surprised that everything is indeed in 4 languages, but the languages are German, French, English and… Spanish! Nothing, unfortunately, in Dante’s language (or if you prefer, Roberto Baggio’s)…

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