Venezuelan fan explains how to sneak into World Cup game

Fans of Chile celebrate their team's victory over Spain in their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer...

Fans of Chile celebrate their team's victory over Spain in their 2014 World Cup Group B soccer match at a public screening in downtown Santiago June 18, 2014. (REUTERS)

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:44 PM ET

MANAUS, BRAZIL - A group of Chileans and Argentinians are going about this all wrong.

Ticketless fanatics from the neighbouring South American nations have on two occasions attempted to rush Rio's Maracana Stadium to see their teams play.

It's desperate.

And it rarely works, especially when you consider the heavy military presence outside every stadium in Brazil.

But according to one Venezuelan risk-taker, the proper way to sneak into a World Cup game is "one-by-one, little-by-little."

Introducing El Gordo -- "The Fatso" -- a 30-something Venezuelan who's doing his damnedest to attend a match here, gratis of course.

El Gordo's English is near-perfect. He says he studied literature in the U.S., which explains his command of the language.

His reconnaissance, however, needs a little work.

"If I have to climb these fences like Tom Cruise, I will," he tells me outside the Arena Amazonia, across the street from a group of menacing-looking guards.

His first attempt to get sneak in fell embarrassingly short.

"The police trapped me," he says. "I told them I'm a tourist. I'm a professional. I said I'm looking for a friend."

An imaginary friend already inside the stadium -- the oldest trick in the book.

Since 7 a.m., El Gordo, and others like him, have been attempting to wheel and deal their way into the stadium to take in Croatia-Cameroon.

It's not a sexy game. The star power is limited. But it's a World Cup game nonetheless.

Unfortunately for the Venezuelan, whose clothes are dirty and ripped, the police presence surrounding Arena Amazonia is quite impressive today.

Cars aren't allowed within a kilometre of the stadium. Barbed wire fences surround the perimeter, along with layers and layers of state forces.

Get through all of that, and you still have to convince stadium staff that you're more than a hard-luck Venezuelan looking to game the system.

As mentioned, El Gordo's first attempt fell short.

His second attempt, though, fell even shorter.

After arriving in the middle of the rainforest via public transportation, El Gordo tells me he has also attempted to pay off stadium staff. He wants their credentials.

If that doesn't work, he says he hopes to woo a female police officer standing guard at her post.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, he remarks, a chance to see the world's game on the biggest stage.

"It's so close (to Venezuela)," El Gordo adds. "I couldn't let this opportunity just fly away."

Moving on, El Gordo has another idea up his sleeve.

"If I tell you the next thing I'm going to try, will you publish it?"

Having already been turned away multiple times at one end of the stadium, El Gordo heads for the other.

"Over here, they said I was a drug addict," he said, making fun of himself along the way. "Maybe they're right. I look like one, but I'm not one."

El Gordo looks like one because he got far too drunk last night. He claims he has a hotel but ended up sleeping on a bench because of all the beer.

His image isn't helping things.

"They tried to intimidate me and arrest me," El Gordo continued. "I don't have anything to fear."

He acknowledges he's breaking the law, but that's beside the point.

Then come the accusations of prejudice.

"The Brazilian police need to treat their tourists better," he tells me. "Yes, I'm trying to get in, but it's not a crime to not have money to buy tickets."

But why is it that South American fans are providing the disturbance? Why shouldn't they pay like everyone else?

"In South America, Venezuelans don't like Colombians," he explains. "Colombians don't like Venezuelans. Brazilians don't like Venezuelans. Venezuelans don't like Argentinians. Argentinians don't like Chileans."

Still, he prefers to wear his Venezuelan jacket, despite claims stadium staff are doing their best to keep him away.

"(South America) is a melting pot, but it's a rotten melting pot," he says with a laugh.

If it doesn't work out here -- El Gordo says he'll stay for the U.S.-Portugal game on Sunday -- he'll head south to Cuiaba, then to Brasilia.

From the capital, he can access to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

When he's done explaining his route, a stadium press coordinator approaches to see what we're talking about.

There's just one more thing, El Gordo blurts out.

"Do you think you can get me in?"

Maybe Sunday, I respond.

Let me scope things out.


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