I arrived to Cordoba on July 6th, the Sunday before Argentina played in the World Cup semifinals. Up until Wednesday of that week (luckily it was a national holiday so no hospital shift or Spanish class!) people were nonstop talking about the upcoming game. Of course, all the talk was about how many goals Messi would make to beat Holland. Whether it was on the street or in the doctor’s lounge, the topic of conversation would be futbol. That whole week, Monique and I were constantly searching for a cheap, but good Messi jersey. Every corner we heard “remeras de Messi, 150 pesos” or we’d see booths filled of Azul y blanco (blue and white). When we finally got our Messi jerseys, flags, and face paint we couldn’t wait for it to be Wednesday. As we were recommended, we headed down to Rondeau street to watch the game to find the whole street with college students covered in Baby blue and white, head to toe.
During the game, people were on the edge of their seats and were constantly cheering or bickering. The people were so invested in the game that it was so hard not to miss a second of it! Every minute there was either complete and utter silence, or a unanimous chant, cheer, or frustration.
And when Argentina beat Holland in the Semifinals the crowd went completely wild! The craziness started early right after the game, in which people were parading the streets and I was in the midst of it all (I even was kissed by a very happy stranger!) Calle Rondeau was filled with college students chanting Vamos Vamos Argentina or Brasil Decime Que se Siente all accompanied by horns and shouts. Just being around this enthusiasm, joy, and liveliness made you feel like you were an Argentinian. I felt the same pride and patriotism as the people did that night, because if there’s anything all Argentinians have in common, its that soccer is life.
We then made our way down to Patio Olmos (considered a central location in the city of Cordoba) where we saw even more people celebrating the futbol victory. And again, being in the midst of it all we happened to get sprayed with shaving cream! The crowd’s enthusiasm was none like other, and the unification within the mass crowd of people was inspiring. Although we aren’t Argentinian, we definitely felt welcomed and pumped from the game.
We even hopped onto a truck that went around the city honking and cheering on the crowd with a ginormous Argentinian flag!
And the cheering went on and on that whole night. We were even encouraged to learn the chants before the next game!
Vamos, vamos Argentina,
vamos, vamos a ganar,
que esta barra quilombera,
no te deja, no te deja de alentar.
And the ever so popular with Argentinians:
After winning the semi-finals the past week, people we’re even more enthusiastic to see Argentina in the World Cup finals. From early in the morning, vendors were posted in the street selling Argentina merchandise for the game that afternoon. All stores were closed and streets were empty. The only place to find Argentinians that day were anywhere near a tv, where they were posted and watching every second of the game.
And even though we didn’t win the finals that day, I was proud of the game Argentina put on. Argentina will always be a proud futbol nation, and I will always be a Messi girl.