Marrakesh – The Final

The next day I was up early to catch the train back to Marrakech which would host the final of the Club World Cup this Saturday evening.

Once again the train was full, initially I stood in the corridor, but after an hour a young man offered me his seat. I gathered the topic of conversation was football, and found that they were talking about the chaos of the organisation, in particular the switching of venues from Rabat to Marrakech with only two days notice.

I decided to make my way to the stadium early, and headed out of the square at Jamaa el Fna, hoping to find someone else going to the football. Within a few minutes I had found two Real Madrid fans, from a town in the south of Morocco some 8 hours away. We arrived in plenty of time, but the ticket I had was for the wrong side of the ground. I had deliberately bought category 1 tickets, the most expensive, so that I would be in the right place at the end of the match. I was sure that when I placed my order two months ago I had done this.

I explained what I wanted to do to my two colleagues, one was happy to take my ticket as it was in the same area as his friend. As we were talking a policeman came up to us. They exchanged pleasantries and hugged Moroccan style pressing the cheeks of their faces together. The policeman was from their home town. The policeman offered to get us into the stadium, I declined the offer as I still wanted to be on the other side.

I moved across to the turnstiles on the opposite side of the stadium and within two minutes I had my wish.

Real Madrid went on to be crowned World Champions, I have now seen them play and win four times, winning three trophies along the way.

Whilst in the same period I have seen Leeds United the team I follow win five times and languish in 18th position in the Championship.

After the match finished and the fireworks were over, I left the stadium and looked for a way back to the city.

I could see lots of people wearing red and blue the colours of the Argentinian side. My eyes focused on one in particular in the distance, a San Lorenzo fan wearing a djeballa.
Mariano was waiting with a group of fellow supporters to go back to the city, so I joined them. An announcement, in Spanish, asked whether people wanted to go to the Fan Fest or La placa (Jamaa el fna). My response, I just want to go to Casa!



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