Alex, one one of the great new people we’ve met here in Argentina, is a a huge river Plate fan and being a typically generous Argentine offered to take me to the Monumental Stadium to watch River play Velez.  It was a great evening.  The trip in on the Pa Americana gave a flavour of the passion of the fans as they hung out of the windows of various school buses swinging their scarves and shouting and yelling at passing cars.

Argentine Bus Fans

Argentine Bus Fans

Walking in past all the Choripan stores, being searched about three times and then fumbling over the turnstiles and then the long cimb upwards past the horrendous toilets before coming out into the huge Monumental Stadium.

Alex and me at the Monumental

Alex and me at the Monumental

The football wasn’t great , probably Championship standard in the UK, but this was more than compensated by the incredible atmosphere as the singing rippled around the train and the banter between the two sets of fans intensified.

Velez fans

Velez fans

Considering how small their section was the Velez fans belted out their songs with gusto and doled out a fair amount of abuse.

At one point the chant went up ‘Stand up if you hate the English’ for no apparent reason except I guess that Malvinas day is on Tuesday.  I decided to keep a low profile at this point despite the fact I was wearing a suspiciously Boca coloured T-Shirt too!!  The result was a boring goalless draw but this didn’t matter as I’d had a great time and it reminded me of the previous times I’d experienced Argentine football.  Bring on the Superclasico and I need to buy a River Plate shirt!!

River Fans

River Fans

Monumental Stadium

Monumental Stadium