Soy de Verde - El Classico
Medellin Travel Blog› entry 90 of 134 › view all entries
Ok, so i missed out on football in Buenos Aires and in Rio, but my god i got the Medellin Classico in Colombia.
There are two major teams in Medellin that share the same stadium - Medellin and Nacional. When they play the riot police come out to play too. It`s a serious derby and the chance of being urinated on is pretty high by both the opposing side and your own team. Nice. Sur is the side for the serious Nacional fans and Norte for Medellin. Both of the goal ends hold a special reputation in the city and you don`t enter into them unless you have a. a hooligan sentiment, b. lost your mind or c. have a local friend who can take you in. Fortunately Margot and Will`s cousin David is a huge Nacional fan and we had him to take us to the game. So we adopted green as our Medellin colour and bought tickets for the Sur end and took a deep breathe.
The night started on Calle 70 in a sea of green, a chorus of "Soy de Verde" and surrounded by every scally and ruffian in the area. Drinking on the street outside the bottle shop (off-licence) was pretty strange and when we were surrounded by a group of rather unsavoury looking characters I frankly wanted to run. It was then i learnt that they were the people we were going into the fabled "Sur" section with and that they weren`t just regular lunatics, they were the firm of Nacional. Right then.
So complete with Nuk as our guide he led us to the stadium, narrowly missing someone weeing off the side, walked us to the front of the queue and once inside the crowds parted and let us walk through to the centre middle of the Sur end. The noise in the stadium was deafening. Chanting, screaming, dancing and shouting. Unfortunately Nacional weren`t allowed banners, trumpets or drums due to a recent clash with the police in Cali involving oozie guns ... yep we`re in Colombia now and the fans make the English football hooligans look like schoolboys.
The game itself was pretty poor with a dodgy ref, players diving whenever the opportunity took them and no skill in the goal whatsoever. That in itself was a good thing as watching the crowd was way more fun and the singing, dancing and antics in the crowd were more entertaining than the match, especially when you realised that despite the search at the door, everything from alcohol to machetes had been smuggled in!
When Nacional score the crowd goes wild and rushes forward in celebration. Thankfully we were warned about this in advance and thus protected from the crush. Nacional scored first within minutes of the 1st half starting, the rush forward was immense and the chanting following was deafening (Oley oley ola, oley oley ola, quiseramos uno mas) and the sky turned green with all the fans waving their shirts in the air. Despite the initial excitement we lost 3-2 on a dodgy penalty but when in Colombia they celebrate either way so it was back to calle 70 with our new "friends" to drink the night away on the street. Classy!
What an experience. Soy de Verde!