World Cup Time!

For me growing up in Tennessee soccer was never really a big deal.  It was not until I worked on cruise ships that I really got into it.  During that time the world cup was going on in South Africa.  I had no idea how passionate people are about their football.  Crewmembers and passengers were losing their mind while watching the games.  I found myself on the wrong side of that passion when we lost the signal for the game and there was a mob forming outside the broadcast office.

World Cup Time!

Anyway, the excitement was contagious and after watching the world cup I was a football fan.  At least in passing but not something that I was seeking out.

For the next world cup when it was in Brazil I found myself living in Colombia.  Form watching the game four years ago I knew people would lose their mind over the games but Colombia was on another level.

One thing I found out in the days leading up to the first match Colombia was set to play is Colombians love their football team.  The days before the match people were selling Colombian flags and jerseys at traffic lights.  An energy was moving through the city and the country of excitement and anticipation and it was contagious.

When the day game that Colombia was set to play their first match everyone was wearing a Colombian football jersey or wearing the Colombia flag as a cape.  When you turned on the TV the people were wearing their jerseys and then when you walked out the door everyone had them on as well.  As it got closer to the start of the match there was a buzz in the air.  It’s hard to explain but you could feel the excitement as you walked around.

When the game was about to start the streets where empty.  Everyone was in front of a TV or by a radio.  I do mean everyone was watching or listening to it.  We could turn our TV off and hear the match on your neighbor’s TV.  You could even hear the match outside on the street from the houses and apartments around the area.

I have never seen this kind of fandom in my life.  Watching a match with people that are so into it makes you start to be a fan as well.

Watching the game with a bunch of Colombians is an emotional roller coaster ride.

When Colombia scores people erupt with cheer, chants, and songs.  You hear your neighbors yelling while others take to the streets running sprints around the block while screaming goal.  People are even celebrating in their car by honking their horns like crazy.

The matches are broadcasted on several of the regular free channels so everyone can watch.  Bars do not charge you more to come in and watch either.  Watching the game in a bar is a cool experience.  Everyone is all decked out in their Colombian gear.  The emotion of the game is heavy and you can feel it.  When the opponents get close to scoring a goal everyone holds their breath and when they miss there is a huge sigh of relief.  If they make the goal everyone is screaming at the TV and the mood goes down quick.  When it goes the other way and Colombia is about to score, people are bubbling with excitement.  If they make the goal people lose their minds.

When Colombia wins people really get pretty crazy with the celebrations.  So much so that for a couple of the world cup matches they did not allow the sale of alcohol the day before the match and the day of.

It was a really cool thing to experience and to see how important this sport is to a country.  So if you find yourself in a Spanish speaking country I would highly recommend taking in a match with the locals.  Understanding everything that is going on will be a real test of your Spanish.  Especially if you can understand the announcer on the TV that is talking like an auctioneer.

If you need to beef up your sports vocabulary in Spanish the video below might help you out.

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Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.