Being from the Midwest and more specifically from Green Bay, obviously I am a Packer fan! I was in for quite the change in Europe where everything is FÚTBOL, FÚTBOL, FÚTBOL!. Although I am not a huge soccer fan I have tried to keep up with some of the teams in Spain, and I did have the wonderful cultural opportunity of going to a Real Madrid game with some of my friends. The atmosphere in the stadium was unbelievable and unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Everyone cheered and was so passionate about their team! Almost everyone wore a scarf or jersey of Real Madrid and everyone waved the complimentary flags we all got on our seats. And, of course, I joined in with the shouting of “GOL!” seven times that day because Real Madrid pulled out the victory, 7-1. Ronaldo Cristiano, one of Real Madrid’s “best players” (#7) is like God to Spaniards! The game I went to he was awarded a trophy of a gold cleat and after asking my host Mom the significance of this, she told me that it means he is the best player in the league.
I have learned, from living in Spain for a few months now, that the two biggest teams in Spain are Barcelona and Real Madrid; they are kind of like the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings, you either like one team or the other and you can’t like both! One of my friends bought a Cristiano Ronaldo jersey and was making small talk with her host family, joking around that she was going to wear her jersey on our trip to Barcelona. Her host parents told her that that probably was not a good idea as she probably would get hurt if she did such a thing!
Meg Domnick is studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, with the University of Minnesota.