Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Two days back was certainly a day that won’t go down in history, in the true sense of the phrase. But that day represents a tale I can still tell some day. It was the day, that a wall of 86,000 people formed an impregnable wall to keep me from watching the Los Merengues take on surprise package Real Betis.

As I got out from the metro at the Bernabeu, the kick off was barely minutes away. I looked for someone trying to push some tickets, but to no luck. The ones I found were too expensive for my meagre income. So I loitered around, as the clean up team started their works, blowing into a pile the program notes and rubbish, picking up cups left with a few sips of beer.

And it got me thinking. Why does watching a live game have this buzz. Why would people pay 5-10% of their monthly income (that’s what translated to me for the VIP seats that were available, I don’t make much do I?) into a game of football when they can sit on their armchair or slip into a bar?

Because watching it live in a stadium is a collective involvement. The heaving of thousands of souls, in ecstasy, and in despair, in support and in complaints is a sort of invisible connection between patrons that sit on those seats. The discussions, the feeling of belonging to something, the hopes that are carried along to the pitchside is more real, more deep, because one feels they are somehow directly connected to the outcome. The clubs fates.

Like every single human being can testify, the sensory experience, when the action is bare to your naked eye, and the sound of the ball being kicked around bangs on your eardrums without any modulation and demodulation, when the sight of Kaka curling it around the goalkeeper from a few metres away that touches you in a way an invisible soul does, is simply unmatchable by any technology, because although the world can be represented in bits, is not made up of it.

I can tell you this though, even from the outside, I felt part of something big.


He calls himself an expressionist. He also suffers from chronic palpitations owing to the repeated ingestion of double esspressos.

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