1. Politely clapping vs. tossing beer
In Mexico, when our team scores, we toss our beers into the crowd. In England, fans politely clap and occasionally, if over-excited, high-five each other. Be willing to get wet if you ever go to a soccer game in Mexico. Just know that there’s no such thing as warm beer.
2. Crazy loud noises vs. the opera
People in Mexico yell, scream, make noises, insult, but very seldom chant. English fans chant throughout the game in unison in choir-like perfection.
3. Commentators vs. commentatoooooooors!!!!
If you’re not lucky enough to be at the stadium for the game and have to watch it at home, in Mexico, it’s almost just as crazy. Commentators go nuts and get overly passionate about plays and goals and tend to over-narrate even the smallest of passes from one player to another. In England, you might here silence, then “Rooney… Van Persie… Van Persie… Rooney…” and then more silence… until Rooney passes it to Van Persie again.
4. Beer time vs. tea time
Fans in Mexico sit back under the sun sipping on liters of beer while eating pizzas, hot dogs, and cup o’ noodles (yes, you can have a hot noodle soup delivered right to your seat). In England, you’re more likely to see fans warming their hands on a hot thermos and eating a home-brought sandwich. At £5 for a bottle of beer, who can blame them?
5. Here comes the rain again…
If there’s ever an empty stadium in Mexico, you can, as Milli Vanilli once said, “blame it on the rain.” In England, if the fans were afraid to get a bit chilly and a little wet, the players would always be playing to empty stadiums.
6. Stadium violence
English fans beat each other up (any hooligans left out there?). Mexican fans only beat up the police.
7. Paparazzi need not apply
Special paparazzi forces follow English players everywhere and know their every move, and people eat it up like there’s no tomorrow (hello Beckham in a skirt and Rooney with his affairs/hair implants). Mexicans don’t care what the players do off the field. Finding a paparazzi in Mexico that specializes on footballers would be like finding Waldo in a Tim Burton movie. Impossible. Or is it?
But enough with the differences — English and Mexican fans have lots and lots in common, too…
1. Inventors of the game
We both think we invented football. The Mayan ball game, or “juego de pelota,” actually came first, where the purpose of the game was to get a ball through a hole without using your hands. I guess the Brits realized how hard that was and made the hole just a bit bigger and rectangular. Kudos to the lazy smart guy who came up with the idea of putting a net behind it.
2. ¿The Mexican Wave?
We happily do the wave in both countries. Although in England, when they do the wave, they call it the Mexican Wave. Here we just call it THE wave.
3. World Cup excitement
An excruciatingly painful event takes place every four years. Although there is always a glimmer of hope, both Mexican and English fans tend to get pretty cynical about their team’s chances and accept the sad reality that their team will not get far and that after the inaugural whistle, it’s all downhill. I hate to admit this, but even before the World Cup starts many Mexicans secretly choose a side to cheer for that will likely get to the final (Let’s go Brazil!).
4. David Beckham
Both Mexican and English countrymen love David Beckham…or at least his haircuts. To this day, many Mexican guys still wear the Beckham faux hawk, even though in England it has been out of style since Spice Boy’s Manchester United days.
5. Conspiracy theories vs. scapegoat
In Mexico, whenever we get kicked out of a World Cup, we tend to be pretty good at coming up with all kinds of conspiracy theories that supposedly prevented us from advancing further. In England, it’s usually one dumb player that gets blamed every four years. Don’t bend it like Beckham.
6. Expert coaches
Whether you’re at Estadio Azteca or Emirates Stadium in London, you will always happen to sit next to the guy who taught Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho everything they know and will shout out instructions for 90 minutes nonstop. Hissy fits and all, these guys are the real deal because every time their team loses, they tell you exactly how they could have won…and it actually makes sense…after a couple of beers!
English people love chips and peas after a game. We love the little pea during the game. Manchester United’s number 14 is known as Chicharito, or “little pea,” and it’s been reported that crime rates in Mexico drop whenever he plays. I guess some people do bring peas to the world.
Yes, Argentina. To hear that name in a football context actually hurts. A lot. Beautiful country, beautiful people, but oh, my, seeing those white and light blue stripes on the pitch remind both English and Mexican fans alike of bitter days. Most recently, Argentina beat Mexico in back-to-back World Cups in the second round (2006, 2010).
Although England have the upper hand in World Cup play (3 victories vs. 2), most fans of football remember that infamous game that took place on June 22nd, 1986. On that hot summer day in the ’86 World Cup in Mexico (where the Mexican Wave was born), Maradona scored what many would argue are the two most memorable goals ever: the Hand of God and the Goal of the Century. Two goals that shall always be remembered and that will forever unite England and Mexico in football history.