20 February 2011

Football Match

About a week and a half ago, I went to my first football match. No, not pigskin throwing, helmet wearing, field goal kicking football. Real football. A teacher at my school found out about cheap tickets for the friendly match between the Spanish and Colombian national teams. He decided to take a group of students and asked me to chaperon. Naturally, I obliged.

Me with my students
We took 15 ten year old children to the game, and it was quite the good time. As we walked to the stadium from the metro stop, the adults' duties became serious. There were people everywhere, running around the streets, blowing horns, waving flags, and generally being excitedly obnoxious. As the responsible party for 15 children, we had to all but surround them, making sure that they were together at all times and not wandering off with some stranger with candy. Walking down the street, the kids began making up cheers and chanting in unison, waving their flags and jumping up and down. "España, España, España..." could be heard from prepubescent voices as we made our way to the stadium. Others walking around us looked on smiling and laughing, genuinely entertained by the adorable enthusiasm of a herd of baby fans.

Once at the game, we took our seats in the upper section and settled in for the match. We watched the teams warm up, chatted a bit, and snacked on some things that various kids and adults had brought into the game. The game itself wasn't the most exciting. It was a friendly, which means that in the grand scheme of things, it didn't mean a darn thing for either team. Spain, the defending World Cup champions, played sloppily and slowly, not attacking very much and obviously trying not to break out into a sweat. Colombia played a bit more intensely, and while they had some good scoring chances, Spain would turn it up a bit at the right moments to make sure that their goal stayed empty.

With only 3 minutes left, and the score tied at 0-0, I thought for sure that I was going to attend my first football match without even seeing a goal. Spain had substituted most of its good players, so most of the people on the field were out there as a courtesy, more or less. But, a pass from the corner to the box left the goalie off balance and a one touch shot to the short side put Spain up 1-0. GOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!!!! Everyone in the stadium went crazy. Music played, fans screamed, players celebrated, and the stadium shook. For the last few minutes, Spain played keep away to ensure that their lead stood, and they did, indeed, walk away the victors.

The view of the field from our seats
My first football match was a good time. The children were adorable, well behaved, and enthusiastic throughout the whole game. While the game wasn't the most exciting spectacle I have ever witnessed, I had the privilege of enjoying it in one of the most famous stadiums in the world. Seeing the defending World Cup champions was pretty neat, and seeing the fans' passion for their team was even better.

Now, if I could just find tickets to a Real Madrid game...

1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed your first football match Timmy. It is a dream of mine to visit Spain one day. It's also good to see that you are continuing to do good things for these children, keep up the good work brother.
    In Hoc, Hunter Smith