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Letztes Update: 24. May 2021

Football – the new popular sport of Cubans

Quelle: https://www.verbraucherzentrale.nrw/aktuelle-meldungen/lebensmittel/ferrero-lovebrands-2018-35-nutellaglaeser-fuer-einen-fussball-25505
The Verbraucherzentrale (=consumer advice centre) points out that despite football advertising Nutella is not a healthy product.

You see, Cubanews also reports about football – I just can’t resist. It’s just that football is everywhere nowadays: on Nutella jars, the H&M cloths and of course on the TV. This will surely only continue until everything becomes black-white- to black-red-gold.

But Cuba and football…that is a special love. One that is perhaps even closer than Germany’s love, but in any case more extroverted. I was once told that the Cubans will only do something at 120% or not at all, and that’s how it is with football. At every turn, you can see real coats of arms, Barca T-shirts, or English football flags. When Real or Barca have important games, the streets are deserted.

And if they play Spain now, they will show that they are definitely contenders for the world championship title, especially as they showed yesterday in the match against Portugal.

Baseball – was there something?

Quelle: https://elportaluco.com/
Cuban teenagers play football on the street

Baseball is actually the national sport of Cuba and they’re still are really good at it. After a few weak years, the Cuban national team has returned internationally. But when we look at the streets, we see fewer Cubans handling the baseball bat, but more and more kicking the football around.

Quelle: http://www.soccer365.com/
Football jerseys in Cuba

In general: the whole cityscape is dominated by football. Every other Cuban wears a football shirt or has a football devotional, primarily sporting Real Madrid, followed by Barcelona and then English and Italian clubs (very far behind all the Spanish teams). Bavaria jerseys are also seen, but quite rarely. Baseball devotionals, especially from the older generation, will also be carried around – but not as excessive as football fans do.

The Cuban National Team

The Cuban football team of 1938

The Cuban national team does not usually qualify for the World Cup. They managed to do it once in 1938 at the World Cup in France. After kicking Romania out, they lost to Sweden in the quarter-finals 0:8.

Currently, Team Cuba is ranked 181- out of 206 countries in the Fifa ranking. As it says: En Cuba el deporte nacional es el fútbol internacional – in Cuba, the national sport is international football.

Football on TV

Quelle: https://losandes.com.ar/
A Barca fan in Cuba

Those who zap through the television in Cuba sometimes wonder about the football matches that are shown there. A few years ago I got stuck at a Bayern-Dortmund game. No, not a cup final or Champions League, but Bundesliga League game. The European Football Championship will also be broadcasted, as well, and of course, some matches from the Spanish league. Cuba acquired the rights to several Bundesliga and Premier Division games in 2012 and 2013 respectively. But the Cuban media has been reporting on football for some time now: the first radio program on football was launched in 1993 and everyone thought the creators were crazy. 3 years later football was also on TV.

Football really got going when Cuba accelerated the pace of the reform process. More people had only some contact with foreign countries and the Internet was further developed. But the biggest factor was when the Spaniards won the title in the 2010 World Championship, which was a big deal at that time. Spain, in the current perception, is a kindred spirit of Cuba, the team of Iniesta, with whom they liked to identify. This is the perfect basis for the success of football’s popularity in Cuba.

If you want to see Cuban football fans in action, you should go to the Hotel Habana Libre in Havana during a Real Madrid match. There, the lower salon is like a witch’s cauldron with emotions bubbling, and it is fun to join in the excitement. The games will also be broadcasted in other hotels and bars. You can watch them via ESPN Sports.


Quelle: El Pais
Cocotaxis with Real and Barca logos

If you’re always wondering what you can bring back from Cuba for your friends, check if they are football fans. With a Real or Barca devotionals you can put a smile on your friends’ faces. But be careful: you should know beforehand if they are fans of Barca OR Real. There is an unbridgeable hostility, even in Cuba.

A little anecdote: When Dortmund won against Real in the Champions League a few years ago, there was indescribable cheering at each of the four goals at the University of Havana. My wife, who was teaching there, thought that Dortmund would be heavily dumped and was very surprised that they had clearly won the game. What had happened? Barca had been heavily beaten by Bavaria the day before, so the Barca fans on the ground’s biggest enemy were now any team that competed against Dortmund!
A win against Dortmund would have made the disgraceful 0:4 against Bavaria even more painful. Now, however, Real also went swimming against Dortmund. That made the Barca fans who watched football at the university break out in frenetic cheers every time – and thus cause this confusion.

Conclusion: The football god unites the Cubans

Quelle: https://www.panamericanworld.com/
Two Messis in Cuba

Cuba and football have now grown together, the world of sports has also arrived in Cuba, but Cubans have taken the liking primarily to football. Okay, the men more than the women, but this is pretty typical everywhere;) Although this has had no effect on the success of the Cuban football teams, and there is still much room for improvement. So if you don’t know how to involve a Cuban in a conversation, football would be a good starting point!

Have you had any experience with football and the Cubans? Write your experiences in a commentary, we would all be happy!

So, break a leg for all football matches
Saludos, your Dietmar

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