How to Watch Football like an Ecuadorian

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I will resist my North American tendency to call this game soccer as I should do as the Ecuadorians do. I have been playing soccer ..err football since I was 12 although I have only really watched during FIFA or the World Cup.

ALSO READ: Ecuadorian Foods

Although I’ve been in Latin America for 7 months I shamefully had not watched any games and finally when I arrived in Cuenca I begged my Ecuadorian friend, Andres, to take me to a game.

Ecuador football game

It started off as a bright and sunny afternoon, perfect for the $2 litres of beer and catching some rays but things quickly turned sour when the visiting team scored and it started to rain.

However, another $2 litre beer eased the sting and we continued to have a good time.


Cuenca football game

While the game was exciting, the real entertainment was in the stands and the crowd shouted profanities at the other team and the referee.

And while Andres was kind enough to translate all the good ones to me I wish I had spent some time the day before learning what to shout.

So if you’re planning to go to a game, here are some things you need to know:


The most spoken phrase as everyone is a son of a bitch / motherfucker. The proper Spanish is hijo de puta, although no one slows down to say it properly.

Cabeza de rolon

This only works if the referee is bald, but one of the more innocent insults is to refer to him as a roll-on deoderant head.

Traigan una partera para ese hijueputa

Let’s face it, footballers are the biggest babies so when a player fakes an injury and lays on the field for a long time it’s only fair to yell bring a midwife for this motherfucker.

Se le rompe el taco del zapato a ese hijueputa

Footballers also seem to fall for no reason and when that happens you hear that motherfucker just broke his heels.

Que lo vengan a ver, que lo vengan a ver ese no es un arquero es una puta de cabaret

A chant that the crowd yells at the visiting goal keeper: come to see him, come to see him; he isnt a goal keeper, he is a 2 dollar hooker

Pon una piedra en vez de ese malo hijueputa

Players of the home team aren’t immune either, if a player isn’t doing well they’ll often hear switch that asshole for a stone.

While the rain eventually cleared up, Deportivo Cuenca walked away with a loss but I learned a handful of new Spanish words that will be useful in coming months.


Join the Conversation

  1. turkey's for life says:

    He he, good post. There was one phrase that seemed to crop up more than others. 🙂
    I keep thinking we should go to watch Fethiye Spor but then I hear what happened at the match (usually resulting in the ref being given a police escort!) and think better of it! 🙂

  2. I guess you learned some useful ‘tacos’ as these phrases are called in Spanish/Spanish. Just be careful. Here is a graffiti I read in Spain and which I quite liked (guess you will understand) Putas al poder que sus hijos ya estan!!

  3. What about mofo?

  4. adventureswithben says:

    If only you could get away with this in the United States!

  5. Carmie Brogan says:

    You’re in a city of 500 churches that probably all worship the ‘Madonna”…perhaps a conflict of interest in their most popular choice of profanity. Very interesting dichotomy! LOL

  6. I really like this post! good stuff. Amen to Ben! Wish we could have snagged that World Cup bid….

  7. Hahaha…gotta keep the last one…one for all kinds of situations 😉

  8. Jools Stone says:

    Not sure which one I prefer, ‘Roll on deoderant head’ or ‘bring a midwife for this motherfucker’! Great laugh, thanks!

  9. Very handy for anyone heading to a Spanish speaking country for a football game. I love learning new insults in another language!

  10. Fun post, Ayngelina!

  11. Cathy Sweeney says:

    Helpful for many occasions! I’m still trying to learn advanced swearing in French.

  12. Might be the only Spanish some people will ever need to learn 🙂

  13. truly awesome.
    i attended a lot of games in honduras, where the language is similarly inventive. then we went to a few games in peru and we were horrified that the best they can come up with is “borracho” wtf? if i was playing in a national soccer league and someone called me drunk i would take it as a compliment. glad to see this poor quality insulting is confined to peru.

  14. That’s awesome; imagine what the players are saying to one another

  15. Fun!! I love watching sports in other countries- the customs are so interesting! And swearing is always fun, too!!

  16. The NVR Guys says:

    Hilarious. This makes me realize just how tame we are in the US when watching soccer (Go SOUNDERS!). Can you imagine yelling “that mother fucker broke a heel!” at any sporting event in the US? Little League Games? Golf?

    I am laughing just thinking about the response.

    When we were in Quito, our apartment looked down the hill at the soccer stadium, so we could sit on the roof with a beer and watch the game for free (and at a safe distance!).

  17. Jajaja, lo amo!

  18. classic. Football games might be the best way to learn Spanish after all. Well maybe not “proper” Spanish, but good street Spanish at least.

  19. I’m off out to use some of these this very morning!

  20. Caz Makepeace says:

    Hilarious! Sounds like an Aussie Rules match!! Maybe I can use some of these on my students. They’ll never know will they? He He

  21. I wanna check out a football game in Chiang Mai, I doubt it will be the same atomosphere…..

  22. Hahahaha! “Bring a midwife” is my favorite… but these are all gems!

  23. Christy - Ordinary Traveler says:

    Love it! Very useful tips! 😉

  24. Haha. This is hilarious. It seems fans have no mercy, no matter no matter where they are.

  25. Lorna - the roamantics says:

    LMFAO!!! thanks- this was absolutely necessary for me today 😉 Cabezo de rolon es mi favorito!

  26. Haha sounds like an Aussie Rules match!

  27. Great post! I am in love with Iker Casillas, the keeper for Real Madrid! Oh, and great angle on the pic – looks like fun times babe!

  28. Hilarious! My husband works in a kitchen and over the years, he’s learned all sorts of fun Spanish swear words and phrases.

  29. The one about breaking their ‘heels’ is definitely my favourite.

  30. haha, great post. I think these r the must learn words before I go for visit. Not that I’m going to say it. It’s just good to know.

  31. “that mofo just broke his heels”, awesome. hilarious post. Were there any real controversial calls?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:


      Believe me, it’s impossible not to have a controversial call against the home team. And when they aren’t mad about that they are mad about the calls the ref didn’t make.

  32. I was laughing throughout this post…gotta love the passion of the Spanish language! Isn’t watching a soccer, oops!–football game in a foreign country one of the most authhentic experiences you can get?

  33. LOVE this entry. So funny. Wish I could have been there. Sounds like a really fun and hilarious experience. 🙂

  34. I’ll bet that was an experience watching football in Ecuador. Those South Americans are very passionate about their football!

  35. Cornelius Aesop says:

    If you make it to Rio de Janeiro go to Maracana it is one of the largest stadiums in the world.

  36. I was laughing throughout this post…gotta love the passion of the Spanish language! Isn’t watching a soccer, oops!–football game in a foreign country one of the most authhentic experiences you can get?

  37. Those insults creased me. Literally laughing out loud. Especially at the “Traigan una partera para ese hijueputa.”

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