HURACAN – ATLETICO NACIONAL

HURACAN – ATLETICO NACIONAL (0:1)

STADIUM: ESTADIO TOMAS A DUCO

Tuesday 26th April 2016

There are occasionally stadiums that impress you and ones that will impress you enough to be etched in your mind forever, Huracan falls into the latter category. The magnificent Estadio Tomas A Duco is a splendid arena that is a must see for all groundhoppers and lovers of football both inside and outside. It was opened in 1947, named after the previous president and has a current capacity of just under 50,000.

Outside it has a wonderful architectural façade in light red sandstone with cream undertones. If it had icing on it i would eat it! I am not a great architect by any means but it’s symmetry makes it easy on the eye and the design stretches the entire circumference of the stadium. The main entrance is similar to an old colonial palace than a football stadium. It’s grand, ornate and simply breathtaking. It’s not been maintained well but that adds to it’s antiquity in the same way the Bosuilstadion does in Antwerp.

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Having already obtained my ticket earlier in the day, i excitingly made my way to the entrada. The security do have an appetite to ripping tickets as soon as you go in, actions not so conducive to purveyors of souvenirs. I explained and gesticulated using sign language “no rip, no rip” and luckily, he understood.

Inside the jaw dropping moments continued. The inner sanctum was chunkier than a Yorkie Bar, big corridors stretching 20 feet wide coated in red and white paint with the occasional mural depicting some club history or cartoon.

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When reaching the top i felt privileged to have that feeling. It’s a feeling that only real lovers of stadia will know. It’s takes a good while to take it all in especially when you get something that is not expected…when you discover a stadium of outstanding beauty. It has an art deco space ship needle protruding upwards into the sky and if that is not impressive enough how about the vast expanse of 60 feet wide terracing, old skool to the max complete with crush barriers. The stadium was not full but one could only imagine the atmosphere if it were on a big game or derby against San Lorenzo. It’s difficult to put into words but the sheer size of these terraces were quite astounding, something i had never seen before.

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Huracan are nicknamed the Balloons, after the Huricane (Huracan) Balloon, flown by aviator Jorge Newbury in 1909. Their distinctive Balloon logo is instantly recognised worldwide. This match was an extra that was only scheduled days before so i was fortunate enough to get a ticket, one of the best £10 i had ever spent. Atletico Nacional provided what i imagined as South American football, lots of skill, tricks and flair. They were by far the best team on the field and it was a surprise that they only won this game 1-0. Credit to their merry band of supporters who have travelled 6,900km on a Monday night all the way from Medelin in Columbia. It turns out that Nacional were the eventual winners of the competition and rightly so from what i saw.

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