Do you have attending a football (soccer) match in Estadio Azteca on your bucket list in Mexico City? There’s one passionate local Club America fan who welcomed over 750 travellers around the world in the capital to give them the local match day experience when Club America plays: Meet Alexis, a local host in Mexico. In this blog, Alexis tells more about himself, his passion for football, why became a host on Homefans and why you should go to Mexico City to experience football at Estadio Azteca.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Alexis Barragán, I’m 28 years old and I’m from Mexico City. Curiously, I’m currently living in a neighbourhood called “Lomas de Las Águilas” (Eagles Hill). I mean “curiously”, as I am a true americanista… a big fan of Club America of Mexico, which are also known as “eagles”.
I started going to America’s matches exactly when I turned 10 years old. I remember the precise moment I became an americanista. It was the year 2002 and we were playing the final match against Necaxa. America hadn’t been champion for 13 years. I became a big fan when I saw my father celebrating that title with tears in his eyes. That was so special to me and now I realize that it was the moment when I fell in love with the club.
I started playing football when I was 8 years old and I began to play for the rival team: Los Pumas. It is one of the most hated teams but I still have a lot of respect and affection for it, as I played there for 10 years.
Why do you support your club?
The main reason why I am a big fan of America is simple. As I commented, in 2002, I could see my father really thrilled and happy. Also, in 2005, when America had amazing players as Claudio López, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, Kléber Boas… They became champions, only losing one match in the entire tournament, and that was the moment I fell in love with the colours of America. I was still playing for Pumas but Piojo Lopez, the number 7 player, inspired me to become an amazing left-wing player. I consider him one of the most incredible players and he changed my life as a player and as a fan.
The Estadio Azteca has been like a home for me for several years. I will always remember the first time I went to the Azteca to see a match Barcelona–America. It was the retirement match for Zague in 2003. America won 2-1 against Barcelona. I went there with my dad, who has been my football partner my whole life. From that moment on, the stadium and the team became a part of my heart.
What does the club mean to you and the rest of the city?
America is the most popular team and the most loved one in Mexico City. However, I think that America goes beyond the borders of Mexico. It is like the Real Madrid of Mexico: the most hated team and that everyone wants to beat. Despite having a bad season or being last in the tournament, you will always cheer for America, especially when you see the colours “blue and cream”. Therefore, the team is not only important for the city, but also for the entire Mexican football and country.
Why did you sign up to become a host on Homefans?
I have been doing experiences for 4 years, like taking tourists to visit the Estadio Azteca, the Estadio Universitario or the Estadio Azul (the first stadium where we received fans). It is incredible for me to mix knowing new people, be able to enjoy a match and to share my passion with them. It is amazing how football is lived here in my country. I fully enjoy going to the stadium and seeing my team. I am really glad to be a host and to be the person who can carry tourists to the stadium and showing the real insight of a match day.
In 2020, I started working for a sport-betting house in Tijuana. I wanted to do the same activities in the Estadio Caliente, where the Xolos of Tijuana play, but unfortunately the pandemic hit and we had to close for the season. I hadn’t been in a stadium for 1 year and 4 months. Now I am eager to come back to a match. Luckily, I was able to quit my regular job and now I am back in Mexico City.
What do you recommend travelers to visit in México DF?
The first time you visit Mexico City, I highly recommend you to visit the northern part of the city: Polanco, Promenade of Reform (one of the most beautiful avenues I have ever been to), the Chapultepec Castle (that has a park two times bigger than Central Park). We also have iconic stadiums: Estadio Olímpico Universitario (the scenario of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in 1968), the Estadio Azteca (the first stadium to host two World Cup finals in the years 1970 and 1986, where Pelé and Maradona achieved the victory).
Mexico City has it all. It is known for its greatness, cultural diversity, great weather and infinite activities. I think one or two days are not enough to know the city. You will need several weeks to truly get into Mexico City. All along the last 4 years working with tourism and getting the opportunity to meet fantastic friends through football, I would say that Mexico City is ideal to fall in love, to meet people and also start a new life. There will always be a Mexican around who will be willing to do anything to help you and make you feel comfortable and welcome. Visit Mexico, visit MEXICO CITY!