I don’t know what it is about Buenos Aires/Argentina but I seem to be ill a lot more here… And it’s really annoying me! A late night on Wednesday (more on that shortly) meant that I chose to lie in on Thursday and then planned to go to CrossFit after work, instead of my normal 8.30am session. Well, Thursday morning I got out of bed and almost fell over. I felt super weak and totally out of it. Then I spent the rest of the day feeling either freezing cold and shaky or boiling hot. Come the end of the day I was feeling a bit more human but – following an argument with myself – decided my body probably wanted a rest so I should listen and this does NOT count as me being lazy! I’m starting to think the issue is my bed. It is…rubbish. It is a single – which I am used to from my first two years of Univeristy – but feels extra small… And the mattress is so soft that I just sit on it and there is a bum dent for days! (I’m not that heavy!) So, basically, I realised I haven’t had a good nights sleep for coming up to 6 months now… Hence, the penny dropped.
Anyhow, enough of my whinging. Today is a marvellous day after all.
Last Wednesday I went to the football! Argentina were playing Trinidad & Tobago in a pre World Cup warm up match.
Now, I had heard about the Argentine’s passion for football, and seen it everywhere, everyday in their culture. But this was just so much better than expected.
From the moment that we got onto the Subté (subway/metro), Argentine Messi shirts were everywhere. As we left Congresso station, we didn’t need to look where to go as everyone was walking the same direction. Vuvuzelas were everywhere. The noise, atmosphere and pure excitement just washed over me. Now, I’m not exactly a football fan but last Wednesday, that changed. (Well, for Argentina only… Let’s be honest here).
We turned a corner and were greeted by the imposing sight of River Plate stadium. It. Is. Huge. To give you a rough idea, it seats 67,644 and I believe is the largest stadium in the country.
On our way to the entrance for the section there was a big group of people, crowded around signing something. Turns out it was a huge Argentine flag that was going to be taken to Brazil! Of course we added our names (my football slogan knowledge sadly failed me…) – pretty cool huh!
After getting lost several times we found our seats and stared around in awe of this impressive place. It was then that we realised that we were in the caged in, barbed wire section. This was because we were almost directly behind what was the Argentine goal for the first half. The most ‘passionate’ fans are always seated in this section – and passionate they were 😉
Behind us, surrounded by armed guards, was the small group of Trinidad & Tobago supporters. They may have been small in size but, wow, were they loud! Throughout the whole match we were treated to a variety of singing and some insane drumming beats that had us all dancing.
I wish I could describe the atmosphere better as it was just mesmerising. There were little kids in Messi shirts clinging onto the net fence shouting at the players (some rather rude…). Singing, dancing, whistling (aka booing), roars of excitement and groans of disappointment.
The first half was tense. Argentine didn’t score until the very last 30 seconds. Trinidad & Tobago certainly seemed to be playing well (to me). It was…stressful, to say the least. I even found myself shouting at the players with excitement. Dale dale dale!!
In half time they bought out the flag we signed earlier – it sure was huge…
The second half was far more successful for Argentina, with two goals scored. Olé olé olé olé Messi Messi! Although this meant that play was mostly at the other end of pitch so I didn’t really see much, to be honest.
(Not from our match but the best I could find to show you!)
The final score was 3-0 and both teams’ captains swapped shirts. Shortly after, we saw a little figure running across the field, followed by a rather larger figure. And then another large figure. A little kid had – somehow – made it onto the pitch and was having an epic time posing in the goals and sprinting around all over the place! He seemed to be being followed by his dad and then a member of the riot police!! It was hilarious and he had the whole stadium cheering for him!
We followed up the match by a trip to Las Cabras (a parilla). A rather Argentine evening! I was exhausted but, just wow. Hate to say it, but you had to be there.
Have you ever been to a sports game like this?