World Cup Chronicles: My Trip to Brazil 2014
Mexico vs. Cameroon:
June 13, 2014
Final score: MEX 1-0 CMR
It rained all day long, we made our way to the stadium and were drenched by the time we got inside. We sat in our seats and knew we were in for a good time when the two sombrero wearing guys next to us looked at my friend’s Rafa Marquez jersey and yelled out at the top of his lungs, “¡León, bicampeón!”
The stadium quickly filled up, but not to capacity as the many ticket scalpers outside the gates and online prevented it from doing so. Side note: some scalpers were giving the tickets away or trading them for beer minutes before the game.
Once the teams came out of the tunnel and the anthems started playing the crowd went wild. We were in for a very intense game. We celebrated each of the two Mexican goals that were incorrectly disallowed. The crowd burst out into an roar of “boos” and “culero” chants directed at the ref. When Oribe scored the goal that actually counted, we jumped up and down and hugged the people around us, it was incredible, Not the rain or the ref were able to break the spirit of the fans. The first game was a good indicator of what we could expect from both the team and the fans.
Mexico vs. Brazil:
June 17, 2014
Final score: MEX 0-0 BRA
We didn’t go to the stadium for today’s game, we went to Fan Fest. There were very few Mexicans there, it was mainly all Brazilians. We wore our jerseys and as we would walk by, the Brazilians would say, “Brazil 3-1” or “2-1.” After the game they didn’t seem mad, they really, really like Mexicans. They say we’re happy fun people.
The 0-0 draw in Fortaleza was the best possible outcome for the well being of all the Mexicans that were in Brazil. Brazilians absolutely love Mexicans, they say we are a happy people, and each time they see a few pass by they cheer. It’s really cool. Had we won I’m not sure that would have continued (I of course would have preferred a win).
The night of the game it was pure celebration, there was a strong bond between both teams. It was us versus Croatia and Cameroon. It was all positive except that a couple of Mexicans we met were mugged at gun point. They were walking through some obscure street and their bags were stolen. The next day there was a lot more police presence, so I’m assuming they were not the only victims. By the second day after the game, most Mexicans were gone. We stayed behind to see the Germany vs. Ghana game.
Mexico vs. Croatia:
June 23, 2014
Final score: MEX 3-1 CRO
The day before the game there was a street party outside of the Fan Fest. They had a DJ and vendors selling alcohol. There were a ton of Mexicans there including a mariachi. There were a couple of Croatians there too, although both groups were talking crap about each other’s teams, it was all in good fun. The Croatians were taking pictures with sombreros and the vibe was light.
The next day was pretty incredible. We had to take the subway to get to the stadium and each subway cart was jammed packed with Mexicans in all the traditional getups. Two guys carrying a massive speaker showed up and started playing Chente, and of course everyone sang along; it was surreal.
At the stadium, we personally didn’t see any fights between Mexicans and Croatians. We were all just screaming our lungs out cheering on Mexico. In our seating area we were surrounded by other Mexican Americans, so we would cheer in Spanish and discuss the game in English. A few rows in front of us there was a Brazilian watching the Brazil vs. Cameroon game on his phone, so each time Brazil would score, he would get up and inform everyone. The Brazilians in the stadium would start singing, “Eu sou brasileiro, com muito orgulho, com muito amor.”
Of course, everyone went crazy when Mexico started to score, and when we won. After the game people gathered under the tunnels and were jumping up and down chanting “ole, ole, ole” and singing “Cielito Lindo” over and over again. And, of course, “Holanda va a probar el chile nacional.”
One of the coolest things that happened was that on the way back to the metro station we saw fireworks and bonfires everywhere. Brazilians were celebrating that they too had advanced. Then when we arrived at the metro station, and there were a ton of Brazilians waiting and screaming for Mexico. It made us feel like the actual players walking through the tunnel. It was pretty incredible.
Mexico vs. Netherlands:
June 29, 2014
Final score: MEX 1-2 NED
We watched the game today at the Fan Fest. It’s hard to talk about because the loss is so recent; we’re pretty devastated.
There were mainly Brazilians and Mexicans, but there was a good number of Netherlands supporters in their bright orange kits. I think almost all of the Brazilians were on Mexico’s side, and there were even some Argentina fans chanting for Mexico (thought it was odd, perhaps they just wanted someone to get rid of Netherlands). After the game the Brazilian’s shook our hand and told us we were robbed. It was nice of them. We left as soon as possible as we were borderline in tears and didn’t want to see the Dutch celebrating.
This story was submitted by Isabel Navarro, a football enthusiast and recent graduate (master’s in screenwriting). Follow her at Twitter for more on the beautiful game.
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