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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Football De Tours by Dan Colasimone and Sam Kelly

Linkby Dan Colasimone and Sam Kelly for World Football Commentaries

All images in this article are courtesy of Dan Colasimone and Argentina Football World. All rights reserved.

Experience the colour and passion of Argentine football the way the locals do.

Accompanied by Experts

Argentina is home to one of the most competitive and longest-running league championships in the football world. The giants of River Plate and Boca Juniors are only a small part of the story; Argentine clubs have won the Copa Libertadores more times than any other country's sides, and the atmosphere of a game at the grounds of the likes of Racing Club has to be seen to be believed. What's more, if you're visiting Buenos Aires you're in a unique position to catch a top flight match. The Primera División may feature as many clubs from outside the capital as it ever has before, but a large chunk of the sides are still from Greater Buenos Aires, and a minimum of three matches per weekend are easily reachable from central BA. Attending a football match in Argentina should rank right at the top of your ‘things to do’ list along with eating a humungous steak and watching a tango show. It is an unforgettable experience and you will have lots of fun telling people back home about it.

Who We Are

Dan Colasimone is an Australian journalist who has been living in Argentina for six years. He is the editor of the website Argentina Football World and writes for various publications and websites, including Football +, Soccer International, The Buenos Aires Herald and Sabotage Times. Find Dan on Twitter here.

Sam Kelly is an English football writer who has followed Argentine football since 2002, and lived in Buenos Aires since April 2010. He is the author of the blog Hasta El Gol Siempre, and writes regularly on Argentine football for ESPNSoccernet, When Saturday Comes magazine in the UK, In Bed With Maradona and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Find Sam on Twitter here.
Both can be heard on the world’s only English-language Argentine football podcast, Hand of Pod. Between them, they have taken various visitors to Buenos Aires to matches since moving to the city, and from those experiences the idea of these tours was born.

One or both of us will accompany you to the match, depending on the size of the group.

Dan and Sam’s Hand of Pod colleague, Dan Edwards, who is South American chief for the fabulously popular football website, Goal.com, is also on board and will be accompanying some groups to the games. Dan E's Twitter is here.

Tigre's stadium is located in the pleasant suburb of Victoria.

How It Works

Price: around US $70* per person. That includes your match tickets.

*Ticket prices vary from ground to ground. The idea, as you will see below, is that once you get in touch with us we can lay out the available options for you to choose whichever suits you best, with a final price. We calculate the price by working out the combined ticket prices (yours and ours) and adding a little extra as our fee. We are transparent the whole way through regarding the face value of the tickets you are getting. Hence, if there is only one or two of you, and you decide on one of the more expensive venues (like River or Racing) the price might be a little more. Then again, it could be less if the group is larger and/or we are travelling to a ground with better-priced seats.

Why Choose Us?

We can offer cheaper rates than other soccer tours because we do not charter buses to go around picking people up from various hotels. There are advantages to this as well, such as more personalised, smaller groups and the fact that you will not arrive at the ground several hours before the match kicks off as can often happen with traditional tours. Additionally, we are native English speakers who also speak the language of Argentine football. That means we are great at explaining everything that goes on at the games.

Family fun. The Football De Tours crew accompany some guests to an All Boys match.

What You Get

We help you decide, according to your schedule, which match to attend for the best overall experience. We can knowledgeably inform you on factors such as safety, travel time, quality of the teams involved, ease of transport to and from the ground etc.

We purchase your tickets for you. The ease of getting tickets varies greatly depending on which ground the match is being played at and the teams involved. For some matches they can be bought right up until kick off, for others you need to line up at a ticket office several days before the game. Which sector of the stadium you are sitting in can also colour your experience. You don’t have to worry about all that, though. We look after it.

Accompaniment to the game. We will meet you at a pre-arranged location (your hotel or hostel if it suits you) in an area of the city you're familiar with (the centre or Palermo, for instance) and take you to the stadium. There are no special gringo shuttle buses, though. We take public transport like the rest of the fans travelling to the game. We know all the major grounds in Buenos Aires and the best ways to get there.

Whether you are a football expert or complete novice, we will be by your side throughout the match to offer whatever insight you need. Want to know which players to look out for? Why these particular fans dislike each other so much? Why are the home side the ones wearing their change kit? What they are singing about? What the lines on the pitch mean? Why aren't the players in shoulder-pads and helmets? We live and breathe Argentine football so we love talking about it. No question is too basic or too obscure.

After the game we ensure you safely exit the ground and will drop you off wherever is convenient. We’ll even join you for a steak dinner if you want to continue the football chat or just talk Argentine life in general over a few glasses of Malbec. Yes, we know the best parrillas too!
One of the biggest and most passionate matches of the year is Racing-Independiente.

A Couple of Last Points

1. Safety is of utmost importance to us. We attend matches around Buenos Aires every weekend and know the ins and outs. The dangers of going to games are often exaggerated, especially by the locals. The barra bravas (hooligan groups) have a fearsome reputation, but they are confined to certain sections of the stadium. We will be taking you to the platea section of the ground, where mothers, fathers, little kids and grandpas can all be found screaming obscenities at opposition players in a secure environment. We have never had any safety scares but that doesn’t stop us taking every necessary precaution. If you decide to join us at a match, we will forward you an email with tips regarding safety. Having said the dangers are often exaggerated, there are some stadia we probably won't take you to. Boca Juniors is one (see #3 for an explanation); San Lorenzo is another.

2. If you think you can handle the trip to the ground and ticket purchase on your own, we will be happy to advise you on where and when to pick up tickets and which matches would be most suitable. Free of charge (and perhaps over a drink). That’s how nice we are.

3. Unfortunately, Boca Juniors do not sell tickets to the public. They have not done so for over two years. All matchday tickets are allocated to club members. For that reason it is almost impossible for us to take anyone to a Boca game. Organised tour groups and travel agencies do have access to tickets purchased at high rates from certain factions within the club and resold at even higher rates to tourists. If you are desperate to attend a Boca game, and think the exorbitant price is worth paying (that’s not a dig, if you are a Boca fan you may decide forking over the money is worth it for the experience), we can point you in direction of a tour operator who can take you there. It sucks, we know. We have spent many an afternoon wailing, gnashing our teeth and pulling our hair in front of the Bombonera, but to no avail. Tickets are the exclusive property of a select few.

All that’s left to do now is get in touch by phone or email and we can start arranging your Argentine football experience. Once again, here’s how to contact us:

Contact Information

Dan Colasimone: diskosis@gmail.com
Sam Kelly: sam@hastaelgolsiempre.com

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1 comment:

Steve Amoia said...

Dan and Sam:

Thank you for your guest post about your new football travel venture. It is an excellent service for fans of Argentinean and world football.

All the best wishes,


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