SANTOS, Brazil -- There are few fans like the Mexican fans, of that I am certain. The national team may be going through one of its worst footballing moments of all time, but that does not deter the fans -- who will follow their team wherever they may go, always providing that element of joy to the games in which they participate.
This night is no exception. The fans' very own "carnival" led to the authorities of Santos to decide to close off the street Ana Acosta, where the team's hotel is located. Despite the scandal and the real economic sacrifice with which many teams have arrived in Brazil, there is still a great deal of hope. It's time, now once and for all; the national team must demonstrate their footballing prowess.
Without a doubt, the fans certainly bring the party wherever they go. During the World Cups that I have had the honor of covering, I have come to realize that the Mexican fans are the bread and butter of the tournament. The Mexican fans with their humor and flamboyant celebrations inspire other fans. In fact they act as a fan magnet with many fans from other countries queuing up to get a picture with the famous Chapulin Colorado or even with the Aztec god himself, Cuauhtémoc.
The latest surveys carried out show that expectations of Mexico making it to that infamous fifth game are pretty low. Yet, even with so many against them, this will not dampen the spirits of the fans. The fans will not be deterred from supporting their beloved national team. In Santos alone it is expected that some 4,000 Mexicans will descend upon the city that hosts the famous Aztec team.
During the last couple of World Cups, the Mexican fans have in fact been some of the most numerous. In Germany, people paid up to 800 euros, for just one ticket to see El Tri play against Angola. A match, against Angola, a team with no history of football, yet, it provided fans with an opportunity to come and spend their money on just 90 minutes. Anything to support their national team.
South Africa was yet another example. Even in such a distant land, situated on a continent and in a country of very different traditions, the Mexican fans dominated Mandela Square among other areas of the city. Wherever the fans went, they were sure to be the life and soul of the party. Whether our team wins or loses is the least of our worries, the important thing is to celebrate the victories and the losses.
Roughly 50,000 Mexicans are expected to make the journey to Brazil. An encouraging figure, which not only guarantees colorful celebrations, but some very healthy economical benefits, too. Without a doubt, Brazil sets a slightly disturbing yet truly demanding precedent, while Mexico concern themselves more with celebrating than paying attention to the results. At the end of the day, Mexico are yet to achieve much at a World Cup.
As Mexicans begin to descend on Brazil, they are filled with the hope of rewriting history. Honestly, it's time that the national team repay the people's constant passion and support. Fans who are not asking for miracles, they are not asking the team to win the World Cup; all they want is that all important fifth game. El Tri have a huge outstanding debt, which they owe their fans, and hopefully they will be able to settle this debt in a country where the greatest passion for football exists. It's time, not just to don the green shirt but to produce sweat and tears in order to be triumphant on this World Cup stage.