Passion and pride in the Colombian football team is par for the course in Colombia. The country’s fans do everything they can to watch matches with their families and friends, supporting their side with every fiber of their being. It’s not unusual for a game to turn into a full-on party, even if the result hasn’t gone the country’s way.
Colombians are always in favor of celebrating the things that make them feel proud as they take every opportunity to enjoy life to the max. Every time the Colombian football team plays, especially in a World Cup tournament, it’s an opportunity to unleash a little sabrosura. Colombians celebrate with those they love the most, and are not above embracing strangers who are celebrating too, united in the joy of their beloved ‘Selección Colombia’.
From birthdays, First Communions and long-awaited weddings to family members’ achievements, new cars and the goals scored by a favorite team, parties are part of Colombian life. Football offers the perfect excuse to break with the routine and come together to laugh, dance and support the team that makes the entire nation feel proud of being Colombian.
These are some of the things every good Colombian does when ‘football fever’ strikes, so you know how and where to watch and celebrate a game.
Plan a party
Colombians are always ready to go big with celebrations, especially to watch football, and parties tend to be organized whenever the Colombian football team plays in the World Cup. The best parties involve friends and family.
It’s important to know where to watch a match, but that’s rarely a problem in Colombia where there is always a friend or favorite relative willing to lend their home so their guests can watch a game. The host is usually the person who has the biggest television or the latest technology so not only do those invited feel at home – they feel like they’re among the fans in the stadium too.
Once the party plan is put in motion, most guests will arrive hours before kick-off and debate the Colombian football team’s prospects. Some fans are more optimistic than others but no-one can resist trying to predict the outcome of a game, as well as dissecting previous matches and discussing the team’s chances of advancing. Music will play, the tables will be filled with food and the tension and excitement will bubble hours in advance. The Colombian soccer team aren’t the only stars of the show either. There is also a surge of pride in the country itself.
Wear the Colombian t-shirt wherever you go
The t-shirt worn by the Colombian national side is impossible to ignore. Its bright yellow fabric stands out in the crowd. Colombians can spot it from miles away and, on game days, the entire country dresses to impress in the colors of the flag.
Children, adults, students, executives, manual workers. From making the t-shirt part of school uniform to pulling it over the top of a business suit, anyone who loves soccer wears their jersey with pride. Colombian football fever is infectious and no-one will complain if you ignore the dress code for the day. It’s all part of the atmosphere.
Sweepstakes, known as making a polla in Colombia, are a common way to make a bet for fans who plan to watch a match. Each person adds a stake and either predicts, or is assigned, a result. That can mean some fans end up winning when their team loses, especially if results are assigned to ensure no player has the same outcome.
These pollas, a form of football betting, are generally made with small stakes and the idea is to have fun and add a little extra drama for those who gather to watch a game. The person who has the correct result wins a small amount of money. If no-one wins, the stake is either rolled over to the next match or used to buy drinks or snacks.
Food, food and more food
Besides football, food plays an important role in any celebration of Colombian football. According to Colombian tradition, the host provides part of the meal but it’s common for their guests to arrive with a little extra. Fried chicken, pizza or any kind of takeaway and drinks would be the easiest options here.
Although the above are popular, committed fans often prefer a Colombian feast, such as empanadas with ají dip, and enormous plates of finger food, known as a picadas, with chopped beef, potato, plantain and chorizo, washed down with a refajo (a mix of beer and Colombian soda) Typical treats such as these are likely to put the smile on every supporter’s face and bring a little sabrosura to the celebration.
Colombians are proud of their way of living and celebrating every moment of the football experience. It doesn’t matter where in the world they are, fans of Colombian soccer exalt in the pride and passion aroused by their team’s performance of the beautiful game. Why not join Colombians in some of the most joyful moments of their lives as they live every kick of the World Cup with the Colombian football team, and inspire the world with their sabrosura?