This is a guest blog written by our traveler David about his experience with Homefans at Flamengo v (Ecuadorian) Barcelona for the Copa Libertadores.

“I think this is my favourite ground yet” said my Dad. We were only five minutes into the match at the Maracana, but boy were we impressed. 

Our journey here had started with an early flight from Buenos Aires and a taxi to our hotel on Copacabana Beach.

After dropping our bags, we headed to the beach and started the arduous task of drinking Brahma and eating more empanadas.  Like with the Boca match a few days earlier, we got our tickets for tonight’s game through Homefans for about £100.

Our host Mattheus met us at 6pm and we took the Metro to the ground. 

Despite barely being able to breathe, the Metro kept filling, and filling, and filling until we got to our stop. After marvelling at the Maracana’s exterior, we picked up some beers and churrasco’d skewered beef. The drinks flowed, and Matheus’ friend Caio even showed up.

Before long, it was time to collect our match tickets. 

The noise was relentless, and our seats gave us a real sense of the stadium’s size

After passing through the perimeter fence and turnstiles, we made our way to our seats. 

The noise – completely different to that of Boca – was relentless. And the height of our seats also gave us a real sense of the stadium’s size.  Mengo were facing Ecuadorian side Barcelona (named after the other one and with a very similar badge) in the Libertadores. It was only a group game, but the Torcida Organizada (Brazilian term for Ultras) were whipping up a feverish atmosphere.

Every attack was greeted by shrieks, and cries of frustration if it failed. Mengo dominated from the first whistle and went ahead in the 39th minute through Gustavo Henrique. With halftime moments away, Barcelona gave away a penalty and “Gabigol” Barbosa tucked it home for 2-0. 

Mengo were cruising. And just after half time, Bruno Henrique headed in a corner for 3-0 – just as I returned from my adventure to the beer stall. The game was over, but the noise was not. 

Flamengo played some very attractive keep ball for the following 40 minutes – capping off the best performance we’d seen on the trip so far. The final whistle went to much excitement, and the champions of South America were off and running again. 

After a long day, we were buzzing but ready for bed. 

So we dragged ourselves to the metro station and thanked Matheus for looking after us so brilliantly. 

Our chats on Brazilian politics, education, and football and politics had been both informative and entertaining – and he was the ideal host. 

Another huge night, another wonderful ground and two absolutely knackered travellers. The Maracanã did not disappoint!

This is a guest blog written by our traveler David. Have you traveled with us and like to write a blog about your experience? Please contact us via [email protected]

This is a guest blog written by our traveler David. Have you traveled with us and would you also like to write a blog about your experience? Please contact us via [email protected]