Trompe le Monde: A Round the World Tour Diary

An online travel diary so people can keep up to date with what I'm doing and where I'm going.

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Location: Home, United Kingdom

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mexico City part the final: Estadio Azteca

Today is my final full day here in the world's biggest tropical city, and I spent in wisely, by going on a tour around the enormous Estadio Azteca. Opinion is divided as to whether this is the biggest capacity stadium in the world, or whether that title should go to the Maracaña in Brazil (or somewhere else, perhaps - I don't know), but certainly at a capacity of 110,000 all seated or so it's got to be there or thereabouts.

The Estadio Azteca is the home of América, Mexico's best supported and (I think) most successful club side, who currently feature players such as Argentine Claudio Lopez and star of the Mexican national team Cuauhtémoc Blanco, who some of you may recall from the Korea/Japan World Cup in which he did a thing where he held the ball between his ankles and lept over tackles.

América are the champions of the Clausura tournament 2005 over here. What the hell does that mean? you ask. Well, like in Argentina, and many other Central and South American countries, the Mexican league has two season, an opening and a closing. Thus there are two champions per year. Don't ask me why. Actually in Mexico and Central American countries (don't know about South American ones) they don't just have a league either. The league format in both the opening and closing seasons is just a preliminary, at the end of which the top 4 teams play semi-finals and then a final to decide the overall champion. Which seems bloody daft to me, as it means that you can win the league and still get nothing. But there you go...

Anyway, the Estadio Azteca is not just famous as the home of América. It's also where the finals of the World Cups in 1970 (Brazil 4 -1 Italy) and 1986 (Argentina 3 -2 West Germany) were held. It has therefore been graced by both Pelé and Maradona in their pomps. And yes, it's where fat Diego scored both the "Goal of the Century" and the "Hand of God" goals to knock England out. Git.



This will be my last post from Mexico, and indeed on of the last posts full stop. I'll probably do another one or two to recap, sum up, conclude and look back on my journey, but I'll write them when I get back home. Which won't be long now, international flights permitting...

See you soon.

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