Medellin Soccer Experience:

Atletico Nacional (Medellin) vs Santa Fe (Bogota)-May 2019

By J Hubbard

I have been a lifelong sports fan and have attended many sporting events throughout my lifetime; however, the one sporting event missing from my “Sporting Bucket List” was attending a soccer (football) game in South America. When it comes to club soccer, most people automatically think of the passion and pride shown from the supporters of the big European football clubs, but for me…I wanted to witness the South American football experience.

I had a trip to Medellin planned for May 2019 and luckily for me there was a soccer game scheduled for one of the days of my trip (Sunday). Medellin has 2 main football teams – Deportivo Independiente Medellin also known as DIM and Atletico Nacional. I’ve heard this inner city rivalry produces an intense game day experience; however, during my trip Atletico Nacional would be facing Santa Fe (a team located in Bogota, Colombia).

The day before the game, I found a local street vendor in the city and purchased an Atletico Nacional jersey; this is the more popular team of the two in the city, but DIM also has a loyal following of fans as well. I purchased the jersey for roughly $35,000 COP (appx $10 USD) as I wanted to look “official” for my first soccer experience, but little did I know, this purchase could possibly have deadly consequences…but more on that later.

Getting to the stadium on game day wasn’t difficult at all. The easiest way to get to the stadium is to take the metro (Medellin has an excellent metro system) or take a taxi/Uber. The name of the stadium is Estadio Atanasio Girardot and it’s located in the Laureles area of Medellin. I chose the taxi option, which cost about $15,000 COP (appx. $4 USD) to travel from the El Poblado area.