Goooool Chile! First World Cup Win

Winning a World Cup match has a way of putting smiles on peoples faces, and all of Chile is happy this morning!

Chile beats Honduras in first World Cup match

La Tercera splashes the news: Historic Win: that's what we want to see!

Doesn’t matter that it’s a cold, gray, drizzly, dreary day in Santiago. The streets are filling with happy people in silly red, white and blue hats (Chile’s national colors), blowing their red cornetas (Chile’s own form of vuvuzela), draped in flags, and deciding whether to really go to work or school or just keep reveling in the streets.

I admit, I know next to nothing about fútbol (yes, I’m a gringa, but I live in Chile, and there is most definitely nothing called soccer here), but what I do know is what makes a country happy. And Chile loves fútbol. Even though I may not really understand what’s going on on the field, I can plainly see (and hear!) how it affects the state of mind of so many of the people around me. And believe me, Chile has World Cup Fever! People have been preparing for the Copa Mundial for weeks months.

I’d love to know how many old TVs were traded in for new big flat screens in recent weeks… I’m sure the number is staggering! My father-in-law bought one to take to work so his employees could watch the game. Another friend mentioned that they had just bought a bigger set to watch in HD. Reminds me of the stories of the 1962 Mundial–played in Chile by the way–and Chile came in 3rd–just in case you’ve never been to Chile, because if you HAVE been here that fact would’ve been drilled into your head on the first day. Television was new to Chile in those days and many families bought their first set ever to watch the games.

To add to the excitement–this is the first time that Chile has won a World Cup game since 1962(that’s 48 years, by the way) and the first time ever outside Latin America–Are you cachando (getting)  the picture now? (¿ya estás cachando lo que significa?).  Google has just informed me (as it so often does) that some 5,000 people gathered in the Plaza de la Constitución across from La Moneda to watch the game together on a huge-screen TV and that about 3,000 of them have now headed over to Plaza Italia–Santiago’s traditional celebration and protest center–and this on a cold, damp workday-school day Wednesday morning and competing with the delayed rush hour traffic.

Yes, Chile has Fútbol Fever–and there will be no cure until the final game is played on Sunday, July 11. Something tells me that Monday July 12 will be one of those hung-over, get-nothing-done Mondays like going back to work after a long vacation.

Chile will play next against Switzerland on June 21 and against Spain on June 25.  ¡Vamos Chile!

See more at: CBC World Cup: Chile

For Great Pictures of the event at la Moneda and great shots of some of the 5000 people who showed up in the cold and drizzle to share the fun, see Eileen’s post on Bearshapedsphere:  Chile vs. Honduras, World Cup and seeing a happy city!

For background on the lead up to the cup, see: Chile + Fútbol = South Africa World Cup 2010!


17 responses to “Goooool Chile! First World Cup Win

  1. Unfortunately I had to fly back from Chile on Monday so, much to my regret, I missed seeing Chile v Honduras whilst I was actually in Chile. So I watched it at home in England. I must have been the only person in the County of Shropshire shouting at the TV at that time! I am actually more excited about Chile in the World Cup than England because I know the effect a good World Cup will have in Chile.

    My son who lives in Chile sent this e mail after the match.

    ‘I watched it a friend’s house, Mauricio, with his Mrs and their daughter (who went to school at half time to watch the second half). The metro was unbelievable at 06.45, with everyone in shirts, hats, face painted, running along to get to where ever they were going to watch it. When I arrived at Mauricio’s apartment building the guy in front of me jogged in carrying a TV and nearly bumped into a chap coming round the corner – also carrying a TV!

    I thought Chile were obviously worth the win, although they are so intent on attacking it does fray the nerves. One up with 15 minutes to go they put 8 men in the box at one point. Bielsa’s substitutions were a bit odd I thought. Valdivia had a poor game, vying for space with Matigol who was supposed to be on the left but went into the middle after about 10 minutes. Sanchez had his moments but didn’t look as sharp as usual, although we should have had a couple on the counter in the second half. Oh my God but the ref! What a shocker.
    Anyway, 3 points!

    I was downtown by 9.30 and there were thousands in the streets with horns, flags, paper everywhere, people hanging out of buses. It was brilliant. Thank God they won!’

    Talking of TVs, my sons friend, Mauricio, bought a new TV for the World Cup. He told me that it was exclusively for watching the World Cup, no game shows, movies, Discovery Kids etc until the World Cup was over. Luckily he does have a second TV with cable in another room or else I would fear for his safety.

  2. Wow! Thanks Jack–and especially to your son! for the wonderful comments!
    the Fever is ON!
    And I would REALLY love to see the numbers on the TVs sold for this event!

  3. I adore, adore, ADORE the World Cup just for the excitement and passion it brings out in the Chileans.

  4. @Kyle- Me too! A joyful (if nerve-wracking) “entre parentesis” that just completely takes over every 4 years!

  5. I loved the excitement in Chile back in 98, and we have waited 12 years to see them play again. The win this morning was awesome, though I could barely keep my peepers open. It is funny how strategic they get, my husband kept stressing about the importance of making goals so that they classify first and don’t have to play Brazil in the next round. But you never know how things will go in la Copa. Spain has been the favorite and they lost to Switzerland, so anything can happen.

    Gah! I wish we were there already. Maybe we’ll be there by July when Chile plays in the finals! (wishful thinking?)

  6. Not being much of a sports fanatic, I look at it from the cultural side. I love to watch people watch the game… all the spirit that goes into it, all the strategizing, opinions, cheering and jeering… and Celebrating! As you say, anything can happen, and it’s so much fun to just see how involved everyone gets!
    It would be great if you were here for the finals in July!! Cross those dedos! Vamos Chile!

  7. Whee! Congrats! And I can somewhat imagine the fever. Germany is warming up, too – public tv is promoting streams so that people can watch at work. preferably after making sure they are allowed. 😉 And at my job, all the staff will watch the next Germany match together which takes place right in the middle of office hours.

    Oh, an in Europe nobody says ‘soccer’ either. 🙂

  8. I think “soccer” is only used in the US to avoid confusion with the “other” football typically played there (and pretty much nowhere else!). I think even Canada calls it football (can anyone confirm that?)
    Good luck to Germany (as long as they aren’t competing directly with Chile, of course!)

  9. Hi, great post you have! I like reading it.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Keep up the good work!

  10. Sadly, I’m lacking sports patriotism which means that I’m not actually supporting Germany – because they used to play horrible football – but Portugal – who used to play beautiful, beautiful football. Of course, right now it’s almost the other way around but now my loyalty is stuck. 😉

  11. I think the important thing is to back a team you identify with in some way for whatever reason–and in that sense your support for Portugal is “muy lindo”… Although I bet it’s not all that easy to find someone to watch the game with!

  12. Hola Margaret! Me entretengo mucho con tu blog, oye la denominación de soccer la usan sólo en USA,tal como tu dices para diferenciarlo del fútbol americano , pero en todo el mundo se le dice y se le conoce como fútbol . Trataré de enviarte el número de televisores vendidos para este mundial y ¡¡¡VIVA CHILE !!!!

  13. Hola Nano- Muchas gracias! Y sí– es fútbol en español, football en inglés y soccer en gringo!
    ¿Ya estás listo para el partido de mañana?

  14. Pingback: Chile does it again! Chile 1-Switzerland 0 « Cachando Chile: Reflections on Chilean Culture

  15. it’s late, but still an answer.

    between may 30th and june 26th of 2010 the number of LCD’s sold was 117.911 245% the amount of lcd of the previous June.


  16. Thanks Marco! Always appreciate more info!

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