Real Madrid and Club America bring capacity crowd to Oracle Park

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There was barely a moment of silence in Oracle Park on Tuesday night – and the San Francisco Giants were hundreds of miles away.

Honks and a constant drumbeat accompanied a chorus of 40,630 fans who gathered to watch Real Madrid – the reigning UEFA Champions League winners – and Club América, one of Mexico’s most popular teams. of history, take control of the home of the Giants in a Soccer Champions Tour 2022 game.

The stadium rocked when the ball found the back of the net, no matter who put it there.

The raucous spirit of the fans in the stadium was something foreign to Oracle Park this year as the Giants struggled. As if to sum up the energy of the night, after the match ended in a 2-2 draw, a fan ran across the pitch and was spectacularly tackled by a security guard in orange and black.

Ronaldo Guzman glanced around the cramped, patchwork football pitch and predicted it would be a high-scoring game. A Real Madrid fan, he hoped his team would win by at least three goals.

Guzman grew up playing football and has been following Real Madrid since he was 5 years old. The first time he saw Real Madrid live was in 2014 when they faced Inter Milan at UC Berkeley.

I see the growth of football in the United States, which I appreciate because I grew up in football, but the football here in the United States is not that good,” Guzman said. “From my point of view, to play the game and see (Real Madrid), they are on a different level. It’s great to be able to see that.”

Kevin Luna, a longtime Club América fan, was perhaps one of the loudest fans in the stadium, even though he had to compete against a huge section of Club América bleachers waving bright yellow pom-poms and huge flags.

“It depends on how many beers he drinks,” Luna’s girlfriend Cathryn Giomatti said. “One or two beers, strong enough. Three or four beers, really strong.”

Luna, 25, inherited the Club America fandom from her parents and made the four-hour trip from Fresno to watch her team play on Tuesday. Luna is used to long car trips, however, he often travels to Club America friendlies in Los Angeles or San Diego.

For Santana Urias, from Vallejo, the result of Tuesday’s game was inconsequential. He’s not a fan of either team, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch his first football game live and do it so close to home.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Urias said with a smile.

Urias sat in a completely filled lower bowl with his friend, Eduardo Gomez, who introduced Urias to the professional football fandom over a year ago. Gomez also played football growing up and appeared in a few friendlies in Los Angeles.

“These are professional teams that we look up to,” Gomez said. “It’s cool to have something to watch in San Francisco.”

Kikue Higuchi (she/she) is an editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]; Twitter: @kychiguchi

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