As everyone knows, Argentinians are passionate about their football. Rumours have it that you can't graduate from school unless you know how to play well and you can be sure that even someone who "hasn't played for ages" still has some fancy footwork and can make their way around the pitch at ease.

I on the other hand come from the land of rugby and although I know the basic rules of soccer I haven't played it since I was about 9. Still, since moving to Argentina this year one thing I've always wished I could do is to play a game of football with the locals. So when a friend invited me along to play a social match with him and some amigos the other night, I lept at the chance.

Lets begin by saying that we played 5-a-side on a small indoor pitch so the game was less about strategy and more about skills and fitness. I lacked all three of those attributes so had to rely on my teammates to set me up with some good shots on goal. Still I worked as hard as I could and had a great time. A couple of the players were awesome and of course the others all knew what they were doing too but it was a game between friends and had a great atmosphere.

Though we played at night it was still not far off 30o during the game so by the end we were all well dehydrated and ready for a few cervezas.. It was sort of a case of "doing my body good" then "doing my body bad" as a few of us made our way to a parilla restaurant afterwards and stuffed ourselves with Argentinian barbeque.

There was a bit of miscommunication with my wife afterwards though - me saying words to the effect of, "they played easy on me" somehow made it back to the boys as, "they didn't play very well". So now I've been assured that next time it's every man for himself, so to speak!

Palermo Viejo FútbolIf you're in Buenos Aires and have a group of people wanting to play indoor football then here are details of the "cancha" we played at. Though basic it's all you need for a fun game.

  Palermo Viejo Fútbol
  Godoy Cruz 1724
  Capital Federal
  tel. 4832-0672

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