After our first full day in Medellin I googled a bit more info and I found out that there was a local soccer match that night between the local Medellin soccer club Atlethico and Santander. I knew about Athelico in the excellent documentary “The Two Escobars” which shows the relationship between cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and Colombian Soccer. We headed to the stadium which was located nicely next to a subway stop.
We sat down for a moment to observe the scalpers selling their tickets and I overheard one guy selling “Norte” tickets for 8000 pesos (about US$4,50). My bargaining skills are non-existent so I bought 2 tickets which were originally priced at 5000 pesos. The Athelico crowd was quite young and the security lines were quite long but moving along pretty fast.
Police on horseback controlled the crowd very well and luckily I had read that belts were not allowed in the stadium so I had wisely left mine at home. During the final security check I got asked if I was a member of the press I guess due to my DSLR hanging around my neck. A part of my brain wanted to say yes, but the more rational part said no.
The hardcore Athelico fan section was in the “Sur” section of the stadium and were making it seem like a real party. They were singing many songs and after an early Santader goal, they started singing even louder. On one hand I was kinda glad I wasn’t in that section because I don’t think we would have had a chance to sit down and take photos, even though it seemed like they were having the time of their lives.
It was a goal filled match with a final score of 4-2 for the home team. We managed to beat the crowd to the subway station by leaving 20 minutes early. It was a great soccer experience and hopefully the first of many more to come. (wait is that ending too cliche?)