SPAIN VS ENGLAND
What better way to be immersed in the culture of Spain than attending a soccer game! Especially when it’s against and English speaking rival!
It seemed like a landmark day in Alicante when I was told that they would be hosting a game between Spain and England! I was very excited and curious on how to get tickets. It literally seemed like everyone was talking about it!
Everyone was talking about it for a good reason too, Spain is kind of the shit when it comes to soccer! La Roja won the 2010 World Cup! I was lucky enough they were coming to my town to play! There are way more fun statistics that I didn’t necessarily understand because my parents told me in Spanish and until now I really didn’t follow soccer… Sorry it takes an experience to get inspired, and I wouldn’t call my bench job on the college team real experience!
Anyway as time drew closer to November 13th, game day, I was getting pretty nervous. Tickets were sold out online and honestly I didn’t know if ticket scalping existed. Also I didn’t know if I wanted to blow a pretty penny on trying to get one.
Luckily I go to an awesome University and we have a seriously awesome International Students activity director, *Nacho! He lined up to get 50 tickets plus a free gift, to the go to the Spain vs England game! The only catch was you had to be one of the first 50 students!!!!
We knew the tickets went on sale at 8 am so what did we do? Well almost what any “typical” American would… We stayed up all night!!! Okay I’m lying we totally slept the night before but we did take the first bus at 6:30 am.
As Morgan, Courtney and I were anxiously waiting for the bus to arrive we dreamed up all the possibilities. The one in the forefront of our minds was that we were not getting tickets and that over 50 people were there and long gone before we even woke up. As we were riding this bus we noticed two student aged people who seemed to smell of traitor.
Once the bus arrived at the stop those two traitors clearly were traitors because they went speed walking to the building we were headed to. We knew it was going to be a competition, we almost started a nice run but decided if it’s meant to be it will be.
We made it to the building just after them to find out we were locked out!!! We knocked and the girl traitor opened the door for us. Looks like she wasn’t a traitor after all she and her friend were the first two people and we were the third, fourth, and fifth!!!
Victory was ours! Okay kind of we had to wait a few hours to get our tickets but we were guaranteed a spot as long as we fended off from cutters! After having a few teachers I had in the past come by and tell me I was crazy I figured out this is not normal behavior for Spain or well for the most part the rest of the world.
Our traitors were from the UK and thought it was maybe going to be full to because they know crazy Americans will sit outside for black friday deals days before. People would straggle in but mainly between 7:30 to 8. There were people from all over the world waiting it was pretty cool to see how this one thing could bring us all together.
We made friends with the traitors and planned a tailgate before the game. Sadly that never worked out because we are all very well adjusted to Spain time and being late! =]
Courtney and I were able to meet up before and have some vino tinto or plastic bottled wine. We also shared the sandwich my host mom packed because we didn’t know if it was like the US where food was not allowed.
We met up with everyone and after waiting quite awhile we snuck in a bottle of Saki (a gift for Courts bday she forgot to take out of her purse prior to the game). It made it in just fine. The game was about to start so all the college students went and got some beer. I asked for the alcoholic version because the sign said sin which means without. They grabbed me one from the back and we headed up.
Finding seats is major hell in Spain! The rows are well defined but the actual seats didn’t have the numbers. When they did they were in worn out silver sharpie… Luckily after a few tries we finally got settled and the game had started.
One traitor friend Dan joined us and was rooting for his home country England… Booo! We heckled him a lot even though no one had scored. I was telling Courtney how I was excited to be there I just wished it was a higher scoring game and then boom Spain Goal!!! Best part was I was actually watching and I saw it (that never happens I’m always too busy talking…)! It was one of those awesome goals where they do a half back flip kick in! I was very impressed!
Of course after that Dan didn’t hear the end of it, and all of the British people went to buy a beer. Come to find out all of the beer is non-alcoholic because they are not allowed to sell alcohol at games! Good thing we had warm disgusting saki… We bought a fanta and a non-alcoholic beer to chase it down with! Sadly it was horrible and we couldn’t stomach it so we passed it off to our friend Rachel, she enjoyed it and even gave me one of the gold flowers at the bottom. Once I had ate it she told me it had been in her mouth but you know whatever Spain scored a second time so I felt good!
The game ended with a heated battle but with a shutout 2-0 win for Spain! I purchased an awesome scarf from a stand on the streets and also went home with our gift bags which had 2 shirts, candy, and a Spain Flag!
We celebrated the win with a night on the town and lots of mojitos! I would say it was a successful game and I can’t wait to cheer for Spain in the next world cup!!! I can also give England and Honorary mention.
I am so thankful for Nacho for making this possible! It really was an awesome opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience!