Chile + Fútbol = South Africa World Cup 2010!

Chile is a fútbol (that would be soccer) lovin’ country and the tension has been rising steadily as the national team came closer and closer to falling inside—or out—of the great “In Group” divide that determines who gets to play in the next World Cup. Fortunately for the mental health of the nation, Chile classified (I stand corrected–that’s “qualified in real English” on Saturday, October 10, and it’s now official: Chile 4, Colombia 2—on Colombian turf, mind you—and Chile’s on its way to South Africa in 2010! (First time since 1998, so yes, a very big deal!)

Chee-chee-chee; Lay-lay-lay… VA-MOS CHI-LE!

Colombia 2, Chile 2 and moving forward fast! (©MSnookT 2009)

Colombia 2, Chile 2 and moving forward fast! (©MSnookT 2009)

Let me say this right off the bat (oh wait, that’s a different sport!)… back up… Let me kick this off (not bad, eh?) by saying that I’m pretty much out in left field (darned baseball again!) rather, in the ozone when it comes to sports, but when you’re surrounded by a nation full of fanatics, something has to sink in. It’s in the air, it seems… it’s infectious, contagious, and relatively healthy–so why fight it? And so it was that on Saturday evening, in the midst of a long holiday weekend at the beach and following a long hike in an incredible park full of Jurassic-like palm trees (which I’ll be telling you all about soon enough), my husband’s decidedly Chilean roots gurgled forth and we set out to find someplace with a big screen TV locked in to “the” game. We arrived at Raíces in Concón just in time for the second half… a fútbol first for me, I might add…

Happy hour, yummy pisco sours, crisp French fries, and piping hot cheese empanadas with a nice spicy pebre (salsa) and Goooooool! (¡Chuta! Oops, after that long hike I was more focused on the food)…

Tie score, OK, we’re good… C’mon Chile! ¡Vamos que se puede pues!

Then, just as things were heating up:

Oops! Cord-tripping disconnect in the heat of the game... definitely not cool...

Oops! Cord-tripping disconnect in the heat of the game... glad it wasn't me!

Not to worry, it didn’t take long–problem solved, both on and off screen–And once again: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

Chile pulls ahead: Chile 3, Colombia 2

Chile pulls ahead: Chile 3, Colombia 2

As I said, most sports news soars over my head, flies beneath my radar, goes right in one ear and out the other… you get the picture. I couldn’t tell you who the stars are these days, but I do know that the Technical Director—Marcelo “el Loco” Bielsa, imported from Argentina—has had an awful lot of responsibility (and respect) resting on his shoulders of late.

He’s quite the character they say… very expressive (how Argentine of him), as I could see for myself:

Technical Director Marcelo "El Loco" Bielsa (©MSnookT 2009)

Technical Director Marcelo "El Loco" Bielsa (©MSnookT 2009)

And here we go, this is it… it’s official…

Chile 4, Colombia 2... Chile's on its way to South America!

Chile 4, Colombia 2... Chile's on its way to South Africa!

And just like that it was over–for all but the celebrating. A nation-wide cheer went up in unison as fans across the country took to the streets to celebrate. Cars, trucks, and buses full of flag-waving fans caroused the streets, hanging out of windows and shouting with glee, car horns blasting their typical bip-bip-beep-beep-beeeeep! Over and over for hours.

Santiago’s Plaza Italia filled to the brim with fans who sought like-minded souls to share their pride and bask in the national glory.

O-le, Ole, ole oleeee,

Vamos Chileeeenos,
Esta copa,
¡La vamos a ganaaaaar!

14 responses to “Chile + Fútbol = South Africa World Cup 2010!

  1. YAY!!!! I am so happy!!! The U.S. just qualified too…so we could see a potential meet up of our two countries, crazy!

  2. A guy on twitter was like Sara, why are you calling this the big game? I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I later found out that he was Colombian and sore that his team lost, but for a while I thought I had misinterpreted all the revelry. Nope. I was right.

  3. The last photo says ” Chile 4, Colombia 2… Chile’s on its way to South America!” That was fun! xD it´s South Africa, I didn´t notice at first, but the idea of Chile staying right where it is now somehow seems funny to me xD, It´s like “Nothing happened!!!” lol
    Vamos Chile!!! a romperla hoy contra Ecuador!!!

  4. Oops! You are SOO right! I even had to read your comment twice before I realized what you were saying!
    I’m going to fix it now… but it will go down on record that you spotted it first!

  5. We got together with some Chilean friends Sat to see the game. My husband was so excited. This was the first Chile game we have seen in a long time… plus the win and classifying for the world cup. I was in Stgo in 98 and remember the excitement and how the entire country stopped during a Chile game. I hope we last a few more rounds this time!! We can’t wait.

  6. Hi Annje-
    The next big game is tonight–a home game–and the city is already preparing… Chile has already classified, so they don’t need to win, but if they do, apparently it means that Argentina will be out of the running… imagine what THAT does to the Chilean sports ego!

  7. So now, for an Englishman like myself, the hope is that Chile don’t bother to turn up tonight against Ecuador and Uruguay beat Argentina, leaving the cheats from across the Andes fuera del mundial. That would make me very happy indeed. 0-0 at half time in Montevideo…

  8. Sorry Matt- Chile won tonight (1-0)… although I haven’t heard what happened with Argentina…

  9. yei!!!! chile’s going to south africa!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m so excited!!! specially the game of today… i was so nervous that i was screaming and swearing the entire game!!!!!! lol… but the best thingof all it was the big finale of Bielsa’s smile when chile won!!! i don’t like him so much but with that smile!!!!! i died and went to heaven! why these argentinians have that Je Ne Sais Quoi that you let him do everything he wants on you??? i guess i’m living in the wrong country!!!! lol….

    btw Santiago Radio it’s amazing!!! it reminds me so much of american radio… i can’t wait to hear you on your show, i have to say that i’m a big fan of your blog… keep it going that way!!!

  10. Hi Alejandra–Sure thing, Chile’s flying high tonight! I was downtown when the game ended and the reveling began! Blocks and blocks were cordoned off from traffic to allow the party to roll on!
    And glad you like Santiago Radio–and I’ll be posting info when the show gets a regular time slot!

  11. Yeah, damn. Argentina got through ok.

    Bit of Spanglish you wrote…it’s ‘qualified’ not ‘classified’ 🙂

  12. Oops! Qualified, huh?
    Well, I DID say that I didn’t have a clue!

  13. Pingback: Chile + Fútbol = South Africa World Cup 2010! « Cachando Chile … | Chile Today

  14. Pingback: Goooool Chile! First World Cup Win « Cachando Chile: Reflections on Chilean Culture

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