Italy, Travel, Uncategorized

Forza Juve!!!! Our First International Soccer Game

One of the top things on our bucket list while in Europe was to watch an international soccer game. Specifically, for me, I wanted to watch the Italian National team play because I love everything Italian and I love the legendary goal keeper, BUFFON!!!! We almost got the chance to watch Italy play in the Euro Cup, but they lost against Germany a week before we arrived. Nevertheless, we had another opportunity to watch the second best thing….Juventus! Juventus not only has Buffon, but they also have at least four other Italian National Team players. The Serie A League (Italian soccer league) started just as we arrived in Italy and I was determined to go. If you know me well, then you know that if I have my eyes set on something I usually do not quit until I have obtained my goal. That is exactly what I did!

Forza Juve! Go Juventus!

Buying Tickets

While we were in Brescia, Italy, the tickets for the home opening game for Juventus was going to be available for pre-sale. This was also the only game we would be able to go to during our time in Italy.

After all our years of buying tickets for events, we never thought buying a ticket would be this difficult. Please keep in mind that Juventus is the best team in the Serie A League and therefore, the most popular team. With that being said you have to be a Juventus member to buy the pre sale tickets or wait for the tickets to go on sale. Tickets can be purchased online through Juventus’ website or at specific tobacco shops throughout Italy. We tried buying them online and would go through the entire process thinking we had tickets only to keep receiving a red pop up error in Italian. After days of frustration and emailing the customer service representatives of Juventus I gave up hope that I would not be able to watch my team play.

With the support of Adam, I finally got back on the saddle or internet and searched other ways to obtain tickets. I found a site called, Viagogo. Being in Europe and not in our comfort zone of buying tickets through reliable sources we know like, Ticketmaster, SeatGeek and StubHub was difficult. Viagogo’s site and operation seemed to be fraud, but with hours of research I found that this was Europe’s equivalent of Ticketmaster, SeatGeek and StubHub.

We felt uneasy about the whole process, the fact that our ticket never said what section, row or seat we were in was very abnormal, all our ticket said was “Section: Tribuna Est 1 Laterale”. Nevertheless, this was our only option so we bought the tickets. Viagogo emailed us our confirmation as well as the hotel location of where to pick up our tickets. Since this was an abnormal situation, we emailed the hotel where we were picking up our tickets and they confirmed that Viagogo did have a conference reserved. When we arrived at the hotel, we started to relax because there were several other people waiting in line to receive tickets. When it was our turn we were handed our tickets and asked if we wanted to see where we were sitting. Of course we were curious, we had just spent a lot of money on tickets we had no idea if they were legitimate. I will never forget when our agent used her finger to point on the map our location and said, “you have very good seats in section 112, row 7”. I said, “WHAT?!?! WE ARE 7 ROWS FROM THE FIELD????” Yes, yes we were! I think Adam will admit that was one of my biggest smiles.

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Our tickets ended up costing us €308 and though they were more expensive than we had planned because of Viagogo (tickets are cheaper directly though Juventus website), but they were worth every penny! Just look how close we were to the field!

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If you are buying tickets through Viagogo it is SAFE, but here are a few tips.

  • Only buy tickets that are e-tickets or pick up at event. Do not purchase tickets that need to be shipped because research shows that sometimes tickets do not arrive by mail until the day of the event!
  • When you see the “cheap” prices be aware that Viagogo adds A LOT of additional fees and charges making the final price almost outrageous.
  • Some tickets do not tell you section or row number, only the name of the area in the stadium, for ex: Section: Tribuna Est 1 Laterale. These tickets are legitimate and were what we actually purchased.
  • If you choose tickets to pick up at event, you will be sent a confirmation email about where and when to pick up your tickets. If you feel uneasy about this, email the place to confirm. Also make sure to have a from of photo ID on you.
The Atmosphere

The atmosphere was unreal! We have been to MLB, NBA and NHL games many times and nothing compares to this. The atmosphere is very raw and authentic. There are no theatrics, huge jumbotrons that shows a live feed of the game or even replays. It is just PURE SOCCER! Or should I say, FUTBOL!

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The fans here breathe for soccer. Our seats were not only close to the field, but we were also two sections away from the opposing teams section of fans. The opposing fans are not sitting throughout the stadium, they are sitting in an enclosed glass section with guards standing every five feet. Why? Because the fans here are crazy rowdy! When Juventus would score a goal the fans would shout many cuss words with the middle finger to the opposing fans and vice versa. We even saw a young boy do it standing next to us and his dad could not have been more proud. When the game ended, all the Juventus fans had to clear the stadium first before they let the opposing fans exit to prevent riots. Unbelievable! Check out this Youtube video to see for yourself!

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the opposing team enclosed with guards on duty

The Experience

The opening sequence of the players was pretty cool. It was simple, compared to United States standards, but felt more effective. After the opening sequence the players and fans stood with their scarves held high as they sang the Juventus theme song with pride. Though we did not know the song, we certainly stood and admired the entire stadium’s excitement.

One of the main reasons we came to this specific game….BUFFON!!! When Buffon jogged to his goal post the crowd went crazy, as did I, and Buffon gave each side a respectful wave. I almost melted thinking he was waving to me.

Every time Juventus would score, the song, ” Chelsea’s Dagger” would play and we would join in jumping on our feet. Even though the song is the same one the Chicago Blackhawks play when they score, (Adam’s rival hockey team), we still sang and cheered loud with the locals. After the song ended we would shout along side the fans, “Ole ole ole ole, Juve Juve”! We felt more alive than ever, we felt like real Italian futbol locals.

The game itself was intense and was a pretty even match up, which made the experience more enjoyable. Every once in awhile I had to pinch myself if this experience was real. The announcer never had to get the stadium pumping with, “let me hear some noise!” or “clap louder”. No, Juventus fans were pumped all on their own. Soccer is in their blood.

We were able to see a lot of action in the second half when Juventus was attacking on our side. We were able to see corner and free kicks up close as well as a beautiful goal.

Unfortunately, Buffon did let a ball slip pass him, but at the end of the match Juventus came on top, 2-1.

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At the end of the game the fans celebrated like they had just won the championship and the players went around the entire stadium showing thanks to their beloved fans.

We recommend any soccer or sports fan to be able to watch an international game in Europe. The experience is unforgettable and remains as one of our favorite adventures of all time.

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To read about our other unique European soccer experience at the Euro Cup Eiffel Tower Fan Zone, click here.

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Ciao and Forza Juve!

C+A

 

Forza Juve