How to watch a football match in Chile

How to watch a football match in Chile

How to watch a football match in Chile

I love the passion you see for football in Latin America (that’s soccer for some of you).

It’s as contagious as a National leper kissing cup.

You may not be a fan of either sport but the hype and energy of everyone eventually ropes you into the spectacle before long.

Before long, you’ll get an urge to go to a stadium.

As many people can attest, going to a live match in South America can be a fun mixture of exhilaration and imminent death. So if you want something a little safer, you can always have fun watching it at home with friends (imaginary or not).

BUT if you REALLY want to enjoy a football match in Chile you will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients for watching a football match

The Official RED shirt: The colour of Chile’s national team shirt is RED. Yes, you must clutch the insignia over the heart and kiss it whenever there’s a goal (why the shirt is a must since you don’t want to spend the rest of the day plucking nipple hair out of your teeth, do you?). The other official shirt colour is white though there is a reason they call the team LA ROJA  (the red).

Flag: The bigger, the better. You will see these being sold at traffic lights and other street corners in all sizes (hey, must like hookers).

Tri-coloured jester-style hat: Just like the flags these can be bought just about anywhere.

Face paint: To complete the look, you must wear the red white and blue face paint. The best way is to paint your face like the Chilean flag. Just make sure you remove it before you get too drunk otherwise you’ll spend weeks trying to scrub it off the pillow… so I hear.

Pisco: Nothing is more Chilean than a bottle of Pisco which is often drunk with cola to create the infamous Piscola. It does get tough drinking them at 9 in the morning when the match is played on the other side of the world. Whatever… any sacrifice for the good of the country, right?

Choripán: This word is a combination of Chorizo (sausage) + Pan (Spanish for bread). A chorizo is a type of short, thick red (slightly spicy) sausage. The choripán is wedged into a Marraqueta (type of Chilean bread) to create a choripán. Sometimes a Longaniza (sausage) is used instead of Chorizo. See more about Chilean Food.

Calculator: Strange you think? Well not really. For some reason a calculator is always needed to see whether Chile passes through to the next round in any cup (often depending on results and calculations of potential losses/wins of other teams). Don’t believe me? Ask any Chilean about this national sport of suffering!

Chilean supporters ready for Chile's World Cup match

Chilean supporters ready for Chile's World Cup match

Chilean Football Vocabulary

Arquero = Goalkeeper
Jugador = Player
Pelota = Ball
Gooooooooooool! = Gooooooooaaaaal!

Take it out on the Referee

El árbitro = the referee
When the game is not going according to plan, the referee is always a great person to blame.
When this happens you can add the following swearwords (adjectives) to the end of the word árbitro. For example…

The following words are NOT to be used in front of ladies, children or Justin Beiber fans
árbitro culiado, árbitro saquero, árbitro conchasumadre, árbitro aweonado, árbitro saco wea, árbitro maricón…

Chilean Football Chants and Songs

You need to know this chant…

The letters that appear below are pronounced as they would be in Spanish (names of the letters appears next to it in Spanish)

Leader: C – H – I (ce – ache – i)
Everyone: CHI
Leader: L – E (ele – e)
Everyone: LE
Everyone: CHI – CHI – CHI
Everyone: LE – LE – LE
Everyone: VIVA CHILE !!!!

And sometimes when Chileans are really excited, they say “Viva Chile Mierda!” Which, despite “Mierda” literally meaning “shit”, is actually a positive (though slightly vulgar) thing to say.

Hey, if the President can use it, so can you.

There is also another song you need to know

Vaaaaaaaaaaa – mos… (Vamos = Let’s go)
Vamos chileeeeeeeeeee-nos (Vamos Chilenos  = Let’s go Chileans)
Esta nooooooooo-che (Esta noche = Tonight)
Vamos a ganaaaaaaaaaaaar  (vamos a ganar = we’re going to win)

REPEAT INCESSANTLY (just to piss off the other team)

Sometimes noche (night) is replaced by tarde (afternoon)

And once the game finishes…

The typical Chilean way to celebrate a victory by roaming around the streets beeping the horn while waving a Chilean flag out the window

Did you find this guide useful?

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10 Responses to “How to watch a football match in Chile”

  1. Kyle July 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Today when we were out, I smelled asados everywhere and I knew there must have been some good games going on!

    • Rob W. July 4, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      And Chile wasn’t even playing! Wait for tonight when they play against Mexico during after work hours when bbq a must.

  2. Eileen July 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Love the last picture. Now that’s a giant flag!

    • Rob W. July 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

      Yep, just random people passing in front of work!
      What amazes me is that the Carabineros don’t do anything about giant flags trailing behind cars or the people hanging out the windows. At least not during the celebrations.

  3. Colin July 6, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Very complete! One of the things I find interesting watching a game in Chile, or at least in Santiago, is that you never are completely alone. If there is a close call, you hear your neighbor swear. Or, and this happened on monday, there is a delay between the TV and the radio. So the taxis start honking outside, but before the goal has happened on TV! A give away!!

    • Rob W. July 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

      So true, especially if you live in an apartment building (like most). And if you are even in the street on the way home from somewhere, you will be kept update with scores by the shouting coming out of most buildings.

  4. Suzanne Soto July 18, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Hi Rob,
    your post brought back good memories, as we were lucky enough to attend a Colo-Colo vs. U de Chile match during our stay in Chile last year. From the profane chanting and taunting, to the police escorting players on to the field, to our early departure from the game to ensure our safety, it definitely was the experience of a lifetime for my two kids (aged 10 and 12 at the time), my brother, and me.
    I wrote about it here


    • Rob W. July 18, 2011 at 10:58 am #

      That’s brave of you to go to a Colo-Colo vs U de Chile game. It’s about as safe as giving a baby some razorblades to play with. Pretty wise to leave that game early since there is always mayhem and violence between those iconic rivals.


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