Monday, October 03, 2005

A day at the Monumental

Yesterday accepted an invitation from a good friend and accompanied him to the Monumental to watch River – Independiente. This football game is one of Argentina’s classicos, in other words a game between two of the great historic clubs of the capital city, and thus was packed to the rafters. We decided to watch the game from the “populare” which is the cheapest section of the stadium but also that with the loudest and warmest support. Seeing as it was a beautiful day we got there a couple of hours early and after having paid 15 pesos for my ticket we took a seat right in the middle of the southern stand.
We smoked ourselves a spliff, basking in the midday sun and watched the fans come trickling in. The problem was that the fans would not stop coming and by the time the match was about to start the whole stand was totally packed. Now, for you Anglo-Saxons out there, you might not fully understand what a really packed stadium looks like. First of all there are no seats. You just stand on the stone steps that make up the stadium which are incredibly steep and narrow. Furthermore we were right in the middle of River´s barrabravas (the more “fanatical” supporters): Los Borrachos del Tablón.
Normally the whole ninety minutes are spent jumping up and down, singing and hurling abuse at the opposite stand where the visitant fans are placed. Every time a goal is scored (and in this game river scored three) the stand explodes into a festival of joy and passion and often people fall down and crash several meters down the stand taking any one on their path down with them.
Anyway after two exhausting but exhilarating hours the game ended (3-1) and we started the slow and arduous process of actually leaving the stadium and getting home.
In two weeks it is River-Boca (the greatest classico of all) so don’t have to wait too long.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy Argentina!!!
There is so much more in store for you!!!
I was born in "La Reina del Plata"
Buenos Aires I'm a "River Plate Hooligan" and can totally relate to your experience in the stadium.

4:59 pm  

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