There are less than 24 hours to go before the whistle marks the start of the 2018 World Cup, and although 4,680 miles separate New York from Moscow, in the Hispanic neighborhoods of the Big Apple, football can be felt. Russia feels closer.
On 116th Street with Second Avenue in El Barrio, in Manhattan, where many Mexicans live, support for the Aztec team is more than evident. And although unlike other years, there are still not many vendors on the streets with goods related to the World Cup, the Euromex Soccer store, which since 2008 is a sacred place for fans looking to buy the outfit of their country’s team, It has become the mecca of those who live football.
Lola Ponce, originally from Tlaxcala, who works in the place, says that in addition to the shirts and flags, football fans are inclined to wear hats and sheets of their favorite teams. And although she believes that any of the 32 teams that attend the World Cup can win, she asks the saints for theirs. You can buy football t-shirts at https://teespring.com/stores/soccer-fanatic
And such is the passion that football unleashes among Hispanics that even children live with the same emotion for the Russia 2018 World Cup, including those whose teams did not manage to be within the classified countries.
But the excitement of football goes beyond the shirts and caps, and a few blocks from the “soccer temple”, Porfiria Suárez, who sells tacos, tamales, quesadillas and gorditas in a stand in front of a store, says he does not just want Mexico plays a good role, but also during the month of the World Cup she has more customers.
On the other side of the Big Apple, in Jackson Heights, Queens, the fever for the World Cup is even more evident. There, not only are sales of shirts, caps and key chains appreciated, but the sites where football matches are usually broadcast are already promoting the coming dates.
Carlos Dominguez, manager of the Romance bar on Anderson Avenue, hopes to have many spectators enjoying the games, but admits that the time difference with Russia will take away a bit of the flavor of the football party.
“The rule here is to sell liquor after noon, and since there are many early matches, I do not think people will come, but we will pass the repetitions and people still celebrates” said the Mexican.
But Paula Suarez, who is going to the selection of Spain, has a solution that will be implemented in the bar where she works. “Here we are going to sell juices instead of beer at that time … the important thing is to watch the games and I know that Spain will show off first and foremost with Iniesta,” said the Colombian.