Like many other European countries, football (aka soccer in North American terms) is one of their favourite, if not the most popular sport in Spain. As an avid fan of the sport myself, I’ve been wanting to go to Real Madrid’s game since I arrived in Spain. And as my boyfriend, who also is a football fan, was visiting me during Christmas break, we took a train to Valencia to watch La Liga Real Madrid’s away game versus Valencia C.F.
The partner site to purchase these game tickets is Ticketmaster, and you can find the tickets by searching up on your club. Tickets are sold under the Home team (i.e. I had to look for Valencia C.F.’s game tickets for this away game) and prices vary from 30 euros which are extremely hard to get to hundreds of euros. We purchased 75 euros tickets, and had a great view of the game.
The vibe before the game was similar to that of Vancouverites. People gather up in front of the stadium, crashing beers and singing their supporters chants. But of course, the stadium is much bigger here hence so much bigger crowd.
The stadium was filled with Valencia fans, and even though Real Madrid lost it was a fun game. The biggest difference between North American soccer games and this one, was that it seemed like no one was drinking during the game. My experiences at Whitecap games is the polar opposite where everyone is drinking, so it was rather a culture shock for both of us. It almost felt like that the crowd really valued the sport as a sacred activity where you should be paying your full attention, not just a leisure activity. The game finished 2-1 so the home ground was very happy.
OH! And also during the game, they were playing this song by K-pop artist Big Bang at least five times. And later I found out that one of the members of Big Bang was actually there at the game, and I guess the stadium was playing their song for him.
After we came back to Madrid, there was another Real Madrid game, this time versus Atletico. So we went to a bar near my place to watch the game this time, to experience the ‘local’ game night vibe.
We got to the bar quarter after 8, for the 9pm game. By 8:30pm all the tables were taken so we were glad we got there a bit early. It also seemed like the crowd was half Real fans and half Atletico fans. People were drinking this time (of course, we were at a bar) and the game ended 2-2. It was interesting to see a couple of guys just sitting at a table by themselves with beer to watch the game, as it usually is a whole bunch of guys going to sports bars to watch the games in Vancouver.
In North America, soccer is not the most popular sport (Vancouver probably is one of the few cities with active supporters). So I hope to see a couple more games before I go back, and maybe I’ll go watch Atletico’s game the next time!