22:07 GMT +320 January 2019
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    El Chapulín (Grasshopper)

    Chilean Football Fan Goes to Russia Looking for 'Parties, Sun, Beautiful Women'

    © Photo : Mario Moreno
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    Mario Moreno, better known as El Chapulín (Grasshopper), is the best known fan of Chilean football team La Roja around. Moreno follows La Roja everywhere they go and is already setting his sights on this year’s Confederation Cup in Russia.

    “Football is everything to me: my life, my family, it’s a lifestyle many in Latin America embrace these days,” Mario told Sputnik Mundo.

    “Living an ordinary life and having an ordinary job is so boring, that’s why I opened a football store in downtown Santiago selling souvenirs to our fans. I’m one of the most famous aficionados in Chile,” he proudly added.

    A true-blue fanatic of Chilean football, Mario has literally crisscrossed South America watching each and every World Cup finals qualifier that his team plays in.

    He was in France for the 1998 World Cup, watched the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2014 one in Brazil, not to mention every America Cup (Copa América) tournament since 1997.

    After hosts La Roja won their first America Cup in a century in 2015, a happy Mario Moreno made a commemorative tattoo on his arm and another one on his ankle after Team Chile grabbed the Copa América Centenario in 2016.

    Mario will now be joining his beloved team at this year’s Confederation Cup in Moscow and Kazan.

    “Hollywood and television in general portray Russia as the bad guy from a movie,” El Chapulín said.

    He added that even though the media is full of reports about rampaging fans punching and kicking each other during and after matches, he believes that his stay in Russia will be positive and safe.

    “I think about parties, the sunshine, beautiful women … and, of course, about Chile coming out on top,” Mario laughed.

    “Fans of national teams differ from the hooligans we usually see during games everywhere. World-class football events are a celebration, safe for everyone who comes to enjoy them,” Mario added, speaking from his personal experience.

    During the opening round of the Confederation Cup in Russia, La Roja will be taking on Germany, Austria and Cameroon.

    “The national team we now have is the very best of everything we ever had before. This is the golden generation of Chilean players, they are a great team, but they still need to respect their adversaries, no matter who they are,” Mario noted.

    Mario Moreno got his El Chapulín nickname 20 years ago when, seeing the famous Chilean tennis player Marcelo 'Chino' Ríos donning a Batman T-shirt, he decided to come up with something less unimaginative and had 'Chapulín Colorado' (Multicolored Grasshopper) – the legendary character played by Mexican actor Roberto Gómez Bolaños  — emblazoned on his shirt.

    El Chapulín is the ultimate Latin American superhero or, rather, anti-superhero. I wore this shirt during a Colo-Colo game and they won! I always have this shirt on when Colo-Colo or La Roja are playing and this is what people know me for,” Mario Moreno said in conclusion.

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