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La Roja’s Gringa Guide to Soccer

by Amanda La Gringa
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Gringa Guide: ¡Fútbol Edition!

This week, I’m taking a break from my “Gringa Guide to Spanish” to bring you this special Fútbol Edition! If you like us on Facebook, you probably noticed the sudden influx of Mexican-themed photos as I prepared to attend the Mexico vs. Colombia soccer game in Miami! I’ve been to my share of soccer games throughout Latin American and a few here in States, so I know what to expect, but my friend suggested I write some tips to prepare the uninformed gringas out there for, what can be, an overwhelming experience.

Tip #1: Don’t Miss the Pre-fiesta

The idea of tailgating is nothing new for gringos, but when attending a fútbol match – be prepared! This is not your typical pre-game beer and hot dogs, but a major fiesta and depending on the countries being represented will include salsa music, tambores, and if you get lucky, a mariachi band! So, don’t be surprised if after a few cervezas...todos a bailar in the parking lot!

Tip #2: Dress the Part

This is my favorite thing about fútbol games. The key: more IS more! Go all out! Don’t have the jersey for the team you’re supporting? It doesn’t matter! Just grab everything in your closet of the team colors and put it on and then paint your face….bring a flag..a poster…a whistle…and…everything else you can find to waive around or make noise with.

Also, IGNORE all concerns with stereo-types. Have a sombrero you brought home from Cancun? A poncho that’s just hanging in your closet since your trip to Colombia? Please use this opportunity to break-out any cliche type accessories, because that’s just part of the fun! I’ve honestly never seen more enormous sombreros or ornate mariachi suits than at a Mexican fútbol match.

Tip #3: Be loud

Be prepared for more yelling than you’ve endured in several rock concerts combined. Latinos are extremely passionate about this sport and apparently screaming, cursing, and constant chanting is how they express that passion. Every country, and most likely every team, has their favorite chant…so it would be impossible for me to list them here. BUT, if you want to get in on the fun, remember these:

¡Vamos (Enter Team/Country Here)! – To cheer them on

¡Ole! – When the ball is passed between players

¡GOL! – Holding the OOOOOOO as long as your lungs will let you

Got it? ¡Que bueno! Ahora, get out there and enjoy the partido!


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1 comment

Ruby Gonzalez March 5, 2012 - 4:10 pm

These are very helpful tips for us Caribeñas too Rojita. Thanks for the insights and tips. I’ll make sure to get as loud and tacky as possible at my next soccer match!


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