El Superclásico in Chile: Universidad de Chile – Colo Colo

I was in Argentina when I suddenly was told about the big soccer match in Chile known as “El Superclásico”. Plans were changed immediately, a 6 hour busride to Mendoza followed by a 8 hour busride to Santiago de Chile, a taxi and the subway brought me to one of the biggest clashes in South American football…The fixture might not involve teams like River Plate, Boca Juniors, Flamengo or Santos but still this was a big match. The level of play was definitely lower compared to Argentine or Brazilian matches but the intensity was spot on. The crowd was involved to say the least. This was the clash between rich (Universidad de Chile) and poor (Colo Colo).

When I was skiing in Las Lenas on the other side of the border and snow was lacking, people had to tell me only once about this match. When someone eventually did, I made up my mind. A full day later I entered a dorm room in La Casa Roja in Santiago de Chile and asked who was willing to go to El Superclásico. A Frenchman agreed to join me and we headed straight to the stadium. On our way we met many Colo Colo fans who were singing fulltime. We didn’t have a ticket yet but on arrival at the stadium it seemed fairly easy to get one. Fans from both sides were mixed with policemen on horses in between. We entered the stadium, luckily we had tickets in the familysection. The fanatics here were really hardcore as it turned out later…

Universidad de Chile scored the opening goal and the fans of Colo Colo (the Garra Blanca or “White force”) went completely mad. Watercanons were used in order to calm down the fans but it didn’t help. Policemen on horses entered their section shortly afterwards. The fans seemed intimidated at first but stroke back almost directly. The horses left the stadium and the fans were back on their seats. I had never seen anything like it!

The score remained 1-0 in favour of the hometeam. My French companion had left because he was worrying a lot about the chance of survival of his camera equipment. Being alone I was setting a strategy to come back to the hostel safely as the atmosphere got pretty tense. I decided to follow grandpa’s with their children as most hooligans would leave them alone. The strategy worked out pretty wel and by midnight I got back to the hostel. What a night!

The next day the news informed me that three fans of Colo Colo got killed during the match…

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