Peruvian Football


Outside of the U.S.A. in most other countries, especially in South America, futbol (or soccer as we say in English) is king of the sports world.  Much of the culture, and particularly the news revolves around this popular sport.  Some might even dare to say that such fanaticism could be comparable to religion, and possibly rival the Catholic Chuch, which is immensely prevalent in Latin America.

Peru, therefore, is no different, and soccer games are being played all the time at all levels, from pick-up games in the streets and concrete “conchas” (fields similar to basketball courts) to local organized leagues and even professional matches.  As I grew up playing soccer my whole life and still love to play, I have been rather spoiled to be in such a soccer-fanatic environment, and furthermore was delighted to find that there is actually a local soccer concha right adjacent to the Belen Clinic.

On Thursday afternoons, a group of taxi drivers play pick-up at the concha near the clinic.  I recently asked if I could play with them, and they kindly obliged.  I found that skill-wise I had no trouble competing, but am still not quite accustomed to the altitude, and would become short of breath quite easily.

View of the soccer game I played in with the taxi drivers. Notice the concha (concrete field) is literally adjacent to the Belen Clinic which can be seen in the background.

Another picture of the game, notice the awesome view of mountains and scenery in the background.

Me taking a shot in the front of the goal...

…and now you can no longer see the ball because it is in the back of the goal…Gringo – 1, Peruvians – 0  :)

View of the game from the 3rd floor of the Belen Clinic.

A quite a big jump up from the local pick-up games in the conchas is the Peruvian professional league, in which Cuzco has a team, called Club Cienciano.  Interestingly, the club team is named after a local high school (colegio), the oldest in Cuzco, called Colegio Nacional Ciencias del Cusco (National School of Science of Cusco).  Janie and I had the opportunity to see Club Cienciano take on Club Alianza Lima.  Unfortunately, Club Cienciano of Cuzco lost, but it was still a great game and a great experience – we are looking forward to more home games in the near future.

Local home game in Cuzco of Club Cienciano (red) taking on Club Alianza Lima (white/navy)

Not uncommon for South American soccer, you may see some dramatical displays that could give Hollywood directors a run for their money.

Some exciting action in front of the goal.

Club Cienciano of Cuzco also has their own fan section, which can get pretty crazy at times. Called "La Furia Roja" (The Red Fury), these fanatics love to wave their flags and set off huge smoke bombs of their team's colors.

After the smoke clears, you can get a better view of "La Furia Roja." Notice the infamous Che Guevara flag.

We happened to run into a local kid wearing a cap of none else, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! With all the red in the background, it kinda looks like he is at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.

This entry was posted in Culture, Our Life in Cuzco and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Peruvian Football

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    This makes me want to play some soccer!

  2. Ben says:

    Wow. Jealous.

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