World Cup in London: Colombia

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I've started watching the 2014 World Cup in London with foreign fans, as I've done before.

My first match for 2014 was Colombia -v- Greece, which I watched with lots of Colombian fans in Elephant and Castle.

There's a large Latin American community around Elephant and Castle, mainly since the 1980s. Each year the area hosts the excellent Carnaval del Pueblo, the largest Latin American carnival in Europe.

So I was expecting good things as I headed there.

There were certainly lots of fans around - I reckon about 8 or 9 venues showing the match, all busy. The main venue, La Bodeguita, was super-busy with long queues.

There was a real family atmosphere, with all ages around, from abeulas down to babies.

I mainly hung out in two places - in a restaurant called Leños y Carbón which was packed and outside a butcher shop in a back-street which had a TV plonked on a table and lots of people watching the match.

Outside the butcher's, the owner repeatedly slammed a metal tray onto the ground. Everyone found this hilarious - the first time, they weren't so keen the rest of the time.

There was a great atmosphere, taking mass photos of the whole crowd, chanting songs, doing Mexican waves and flinging popcorn around.

With Colombia's third goal and the final whistle, they all started dancing and singing and celebrating a wonderful win.

I loved being on the street watching the match, seeing people walk past, get involved and excited by the match and cheer along with the Colombians.

So a 3-0 victory to Colombia and lots of celebrations - there were still fans dancing hours later.

Next match for me: Iran -v- Nigeria with Iranian fans.