On holidays in Mexico we didn’t just spend our time our ass on the beach drinking fresh Piña Colada all day long under the sun, shades on the nose. The magazines we bought 30 cents in Mexico City market inspired us to go exploring the beauties of Yucatan in the search of the most epic football pitches. In the middle of the jungle, under coconut trees, in the streets of the capital city, we discovered many incredible playgrounds. Between two shooters of Mezcal, we are inviting you to discover the hidden gems of Mexico.
Mexico City, Roma
In the beautiful district of Roma, piece of peace in the overwhelming megalopolis, globally renown thanks to the latest movie from Alfonso Cuarón broadcasted on Netflix, this playground gets unveiled to us as we’re on the way to meet local friends to taste delicious Mexican food at the market. A taste of paradise.
As we’re driving away from the deep jungle, we see this field on the side of the road. It’s the beginning to a long and perfect series of unbelievable football pitches, each of them being wilder than the other. The threatening sky announcing a tropical storm incoming, the baobab and the stands in a shape of massive stairs behind the goals give to this place a pretty unique atmosphere.
In the middle of the main square of the village, this ground made of concrete is completely ignored both by the local population and tourists spending a few days in paradise. Too central to get noticed, too basic to spark football players interest, this playground is never too busy. And that’s a shame.
Yucatan’s masterpiece. Nicer than a painting of Frida Kahlo. Aside from the numerous stores and luxurious hotels from the centre of Isla Holbox, this theatre of dreams is set right by the non international aerodrome of the small Island. On the Campo Deportivo Aurelio Pato Cruz, the sand won the battle against the grass, with coconut trees looking over the players. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Located in a small town with a name we can’t pronounce, this stadium was made with four logs and some nails. No lines, the ground as flat as Salma Hayek breast, and a tyre tied to the goal post. Pretty weird but so nice.
The wonderful city of Mérida contains many unexpected places that have a very special appeal. Whether in bars with a secret outdoor garden, or on football pitches hidden behind four walls as high as the local dealers, the atmosphere is always overheated. That’s called passion.
El Campo Deportivo Salvador Alvarado is a playground well known by the population of the largest city of Yucatan. While runners are sweating around the track, the youngest shoot on goals on the field opposite. Not as taken care of as the plants around it, the lawn welcome all year long players of all age, who just want to hit the ball.
At the entrance of the most famous Maya pyramid, one of the seven World Wonders and main tourist attraction, this pitch with red ground does not benefit from the same popularity. The sombreros seller always keep an eye on the field. We never know, maybe some day someone will come to play there.
Francisco Uh May
On the road leading to Tulum, the “Instagram city”, we can find this stadium at the back of a school. It does not really look good and there’s a big risk to lose the ball in the hood. In the absence of nets, get ready to look for the foot ball amongst iguanas and tarantulas.
A rectangle of sand in a small fishing town looking like the end of the world. The Campo Deportivo Bill Huffman is the kind of arena that would make the Cantona brothers lose their beards as a remake of their great days of Bic pens adverts and their strange passion for beach soccer.
Carved in the middle of the jungle, this stadium is the perfect example of what football campagne really stands for. The global sport that finds its place anywhere on the planet, even in the most remote locations. Here it seems like the local team, the Indios of Macario Gomez, knows how to put pressure on its opponents before the games have even started. We can picture the away team coming unprepared to the ground, discovering the pitch in such a bad condition, and suffering the wrath of local aficionados drinking beer and throwing the bottles away on the side of the field, sad on their handmade benches.
The final stop of the trip. Far away from the glitters of the centre of the city known for its debauchery and turquoise waters, this stadium is located right at the airport entrance. Well guarded by fences and barbed wire, it’s a mission to get on the lawn. But the lesson is, in Mexico nothing is impossible.
Mexico is wonderful. Country where football and baseball fight for the spot of the number one sport, but share at the same time the same ground, we can sense passion everywhere. The many hidden grounds took our breath away, as if we received a powerful shot straight in our beer belly. A nice sensation that we wanted to share with you.
Photography by Jeremie Roturier who had to pay a shit load of data roaming after spending hours looking for football pitches on Google Maps.