Livin' l'Aviva Loca

Last Wednesday, I took our young football nut to the new Aviva Stadium – or the old Lansdowne Road, whichever way you want to look at it – to watch Ireland play Argentina. He was well excited to see players such as Messi, Mascherano and Rodriguez strut their stuff. He also got to see Robbie Keane celebrate his one hundredth cap. I’m not a big soccer fan, but it was a great event to welcome in the revamped stadium.
The game itself wasn’t really anything to shout about, although Ireland acquitted themselves well, and Argentina’s goal was definitely dodgy. Lansdowne–Ireland v. ArgentinaWe didn’t get to see any real magic from the Argentinian stars. They were more agile on the ball, but a dogged Irish defence kept them at bay, and the second half was ours. Except we couldn’t manage to score. We were disappointed Robbie couldn’t lash one in to celebrate his tally of caps.
The stadium looked great – I love the curves, and the mad way we could see out the far end through all that glass. There were over 45,000 people attending. I thought the amount of booing and jeering of the Argentinian players was childish – our team may not be considered world-class, but our fans used to be. It would be a shame to become known for that kind of bad-natured nonsense. But for the most part, there was a great spirit in the place, and I look forward to going back.
Getting in and out of the stadium was very smooth, but I can’t say the same for getting in and out of the area. If you’re going in that way for a match, you wouldn’t want to be in hurry to get anywhere else.
All in all, we had a good night out, tainted only by an unexceptional Argentinian performance which, thankfully, let the Irish lads fight them to a standstill.