Mexico is going wild
Wednesday, 9 am. The streets are usually empty at this time of the day. You can hear children shouting at a school nearby – Mé-xi-co! Me-xi-co! Workers have left their machines at the construction, and now they stand in front of the restaurant, where they can watch the football match between Mexico and Sweden. Pharmacists in the pharmacy, which I am passing by, follow the game on a smartphone. – You can’t work on a day like today – one of them explains. Well, that’s not unusual. More than 120 million people live in Mexico. Half of them is crazy about football.
Mexico vs Sweden
– Don’t you watch the today’s match? – I ask the taxi driver who takes me to Paseo de la Reforma, the main street in Mexico City.
– No, I’m not a football fan. I’m okay with that because few taxis go around the city during matches. Thanks to that I have more work to do.
– Really? After all, it’s the World Cup, and you are Mexican.
– My father was a great football fan, and since I was a child, he was forcing me to play in various youth teams. I did not like that, and I was not good at football, but he couldn’t understand that. He wanted his son to become a football player. From now on, I stay the hell away from football.
I get off near the Angel of Independence monument in the city centre. A massive jumbotron was set up in front of it, and the supporters can watch the games there together. A crowd in green jerseys stands there, and some people hold Mexican flags. As I pass them, I can hear some noises of disappointment. Sweden scored the first goal a moment ago.
“I didn’t support Germany”
– I do not know why football is so popular in our country … – wonders Rodrigo López, one of the fans. – We have never had a strong national team, but it is our favourite sport anyway.
According to surveys, taking into consideration more than 60 million Mexican supporters, more than 70% are men and 50% considered themselves keen fans. Mexico is also one of the countries that bought the most tickets for this year’s football World Cup.
– It is said Mexico is a developing country. But there was no way for the Mexicans to stay at home and not go to Russia to support our team – says Rodrigo laughing.
– I heard you also support English, German and Spanish national teams…
– – This time I did not support the Germans, because we played against them – he admits. – Till the end of the match, we thought that we would lose against them, they are still the World Champions anyway. What’s more, 20 years ago they defeated us in the Round of 16. Only at the end did they score the winning goal. Probably that’s why my friends and I were sending funny memes before the meeting with the Germans, for example, a photo of a Chihuahua dog dressed in the colours of Mexico, who is fighting against the German Shepherd.
Rodrigo watched a game against Germany in front of the TV at home. When the Mexicans scored, he got so emotional that he couldn’t even shout.
– After the match, I met my friends at the place, where we stand today. We wanted to sing and see with other fans. It is our tradition. I remember that a colleague sent me another meme, where you can see Angela Merkel, who calls President Trump and says: “Donald, please build that wall.”
Some alcohol and some call girls
– Just before the World Cup, mass media published photos of our football players having a party with 30 call girls. Can you imagine that? – asks Luis Zapeda, another football fan. – The party ended the next day at 4 pm. Some of the players are married, so I thought that you know, it is done and we wouldn’t win anything in Russia.
It was not the first freak of Mexican footballers. Marco Fabián and Jonathan dos Santos invited call girls to the hotel room during the Copa América in 2011. There was a theft during the meeting, and the whole scandal started. Both players were suspended for a year. In 2008, after a match against Peru in Chicago, the police detained Oswaldo Sánchez, one of the Mexican players. He was at a party which went totally out of control. In 2010, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, another player, was caught drinking and smoking two weeks before the World Cup. In 2013, during the Confederations Cup in Brazil, his teammates were seen in the famous club Termas Centaurus.
– I am always ashamed for our players, but I have already learned to forgive them – says Luis and he grabs his head after a while. Sweden has just scored the second goal.
– Well, we’ve lost, Germany will go further – says the man standing next to him
Lewandowski like “Chicharito”
– My favourite player is “Chicharito”, Javier Hernández, the best forward we have had. He is like Polish Robert Lewandowski – says Marlene Domínguez, who has not missed any Mexico match in this year’s World Cup. – He played in Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen. Before the game against Sweden, he told us to dream about unusual things. That’s why I now imagine that Korea will score a goal against Germany and we will go to the Round of 16.
After a while, Marlene checks the result of the second game, which takes place at the same time. When she hears some mutterings, she raises her head – Sweden has just scored the third goal.
– It hurts! I’m just waiting for this massacre to end! – he says.
– We are doomed… only a miracle can help us…- Her friend claims. – I hope that Argentina will not win the World Cup. They’ve barely advanced from the group stage, and they’re always so arrogant that it’s hard to wish them a victory.
– Hey! Listen, people, my friend tells me that Korea is winning! – shouts excited Marlene – We’re saved!
After a while she shows me a meme she has just received from: “Good morning, Kim Jong-un, it is Angela Merkel here. Please, bombard South Korea.” You can hear some conversations, people in the crowd start to smile.
– It’s impossible, Korea is scoring another goal! – Marlene is happy. – I never thought that I would experience such intense emotions during the match.
Brazil on Monday
Straight after the match people go back to the offices, traffic jams start. On the way home, I pass the parking lot in silence.
– Smile, Mexico has gone through! – says the valet parker.
– Yes, and it will face Brazil on Monday.
– What a great start of the week!