Dispatches From The Maracanã: 10 takeaways from Argentina Match


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

(Game 1 – June 15th, Maracana)

1. Argentinians are perhaps the most arrogant fans in Brazil, and perhaps for good reasons. While they didn’t particularly impress as a team, the noise coming from their fans before the game and during the game was above and beyond. Also, the make train rides to the Maracana insane. It was a massive, glorious party thrown in Messi’s honor.

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2. The Maracana is enormous. It looks legendary from the outside; however, when the sky falls to black and the lights are glowing, it looks as if there’s a wall of people in every direction. Out seats were behind the goal that Messi scored on. Directly across the pitch may as well have been Uruguay.

3. I’ve never seen more selfies being taken in my life. In fact, I’ve never taken that many selfies in my life. I don’t know if it was because people don’t know how to ask other fans to take a picture, or it’s just the thing to do, but the selfie is international and it’s staying around.

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4. America produces everything in entertainment. The primary language at the Maracana? English. The pregame songs featured an array of American music, mostly by Pitbull, which we could have gone without.

Other selections included “Happy” by Pharell, and “Last Nite” by the Strokes, a song I haven’t heard since 2005.

5. Rio is a small world after one day. We’ve run into the same people in Ipanema and the Maracana. I don’t know how unusual that is but it seemed interesting to me.

6. Chants from Argentina are spurred on by nothing, completely random, and they’re epic. Essentially, it’s like Viagra for chants. It’s artificial, and gets you completely upright in a matter of seconds.

I honestly don’t know how Argentinian fans watch the game. Most of the time it seems like they’re looking at one another wondering when the next random chant is going to start up. And boy, when Argentinians want to chant, they can chant. That’s probably the loudest I’ve ever heard a stadium in my life, especially when the Brazilian fans got into it.

The Brazilian and Argentinian fans loathe each other, and that may be a under statement. Brazilians were pulling hard for the Bosnians and throwing it in the face of Argentinians. There were some sporadic fights but nothing crazy. Mostly just two passionate fan bases that hate one another.

7. Within 2 rows and 8 seats of me there were people from Canada, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Bosnia and France. It truly is the worlds game.

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8. MLS JERSEYS! There were quite a few MLS sightings at the Maracana, and everyone of those people gave each other a thumbs up. MLS is growing and there are a ton of Americans in Rio. Remember, the U.S. bought the second most tickets after Brazil. We out here!

9. Greg Oden, Blake Griffin and Rajon Rondo jerseys were also spotted yesterday. Like I said, we out here! That Oden jersey was clearly purchased in 2007.


Go, Go USA!

I’ll be at the FIFA Fan Fest on the Copacabana beach with thousands of other American Outlaws. Third time is a charm. Feed Jozy and let’s get three points.