"Ole Ole Ole, Cholo Simeone!" the crowd chanted loudly in unison as their home team ran up and down the pitch. It was a Sunday afternoon, no clouds in the sky and it was just the right atmosphere for a soccer match in the southern part of the city of Madrid. Madrid, Spain: a city with a rich history of soccer hosts three professional club teams and three stadiums that can seat tens of thousands. Soccer is like football in America for the Spaniards with bars all around the city open for those not already at the stadium; and with practically every apartment emptying with people of all ages flocking to the Estadio Vincente Calderon, it was hard to not be excited and follow the crowd.
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Going to a soccer match in Madrid is a must do on any to-do list when visiting the capital of Spain. The chanting alone and thousands of people walking on the streets, causing traffic to stop, is enough to catch the eye of any tourist. With 3 stadiums to choose from any is within bus or walking distant, just follow the crowd. Tickets can range from 40€ to 100+ € depending on where the seats are. And as typical of any major event there are scalpers trying to sell extra tickets cheap that you can find anywhere within a 1 mile radius of the stadium. Don’t worry about not knowing the chants or language or even rules of the sport, with 90% of the stadium filled with home fans the time to cheer and to boo will be obvious and you can fit right in and the chants will stick in your head after 25 minutes and can stay for days later. Also, any desires of buying souvenirs should be satisfied with the first vendor you see as the price of merchandise will increase the closer to the stadium you get.
After visiting all the shops and delicious tapas restaurants in Madrid, make sure to stop by any soccer game that occur once to twice a week during the regular season. It is a captivating experience and sight alone as you see practically everyone on the block either on their way to a bar or walking to the stadium all the enjoy the most popular past time besides the siesta. Another additional note on the stadiums is that two in the city of Madrid have banned smoking inside of them so the smell will be more pleasant as you enjoy the game, while Estadio Vincente Calderon allows it. However the other two stadiums ban it at the expense of their tickets pricing slightly higher. Despite the smell, the energetic crowd and thunderous chanting is enough to immerse you fully in the experience of watching a soccer game in the country of the world champions of soccer.
"Atleti, Atleti, Atletico de Madrid!"
Win or lose, after one game you'll have wished that you were a regular home fan and got to see a game every week, the Spanish crowd has none to compare with in the world's most popular sporting event.
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