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Friday, May 11, 2007

Home

I came back from Toronto an hour ago. I took the Santi, Juan and most of Santi's team to the Canada-Argentina game. It was an amazing experience.

The stadium is definitely gorgeous. You have the skyline (including the CN tower) right in front of you. To your right, Lake Ontario. And to your left, Gardiner Expressway. The field itself was spotless, and the view from our seat was just fantastic.

We had a good number of Argentine fans sitting right behind us, so I enjoyed all the songs and even some of the insults (because they were both creative and funny). I translated some of the songs to the kids, and we all had a good laugh). I felt a little like I was back home again.

I'm not a fan of playing national anthems before a sporting event. After all, it was just a team representing Canada's soccer against a team representing Argentina's soccer. That was it, this wasn't a diplomatic issue. Anyway, the crowd was very respectful. They all listened to the Argentine national anthem and clapped vigorously afterwards. Then I witnessed something wonderful: some were singing, hand over the heart, but wearing an Argentine soccer jersey. We ALL sang O Canada, and we all clapped.

There was a guy -he had a West Indies accent- who had a bull horn and spent the whole game making people sing short cheering songs. For five minutes, they were to cheer for Canada, then for Argentina. And people sang. That was just awesome.

The game itself was good too. Canada surprised me, as they played very well against the obviously more skilled and seasoned Argentines, and they deserve at least a tie. However, a very questionable call by the referee ended in a corner kick, from which the winning goal (2-1) came, two minutes before the game ended.

We had a fantastic time; nothing was better than watching Santi and Juan sing and jump with about 100 Argentines after the game. Juan had no voice left by the time we arrived home.

We will do this again. For sure.

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