Children who vanish and brooms that sweep alone: ​​ghosts and legends at the Hernando Siles, where the National Team will play

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The Argentine National Team plays on Tuesday the 13th at the height of La Paz. The stands will be empty. Insurance?

Constantine Key he walked over to the children playing with a ball in the center of the court. There were twelve of them, although at times they seemed fifteen. They jumped, they threw pipes, they had fun, but they were intruders, they should not be there, in the middle of the Hernando Siles, the highest stadium for international matches in the world.

The doorman was going to them to ask them to come, because the irrigation system was about to turn on. From a corner, the administrator of the place, Eduardo Floresshe yelled at him.

-Constantino! How is it that those children have entered the playing field?

“I don’t know,” the serene managed to answer, who had been a miner in Oruro and knew how to walk through the dark.

Eduardo was watching the scene and Constantino was about to make contact with the little footballers when, suddenly, something incredible happened: one by one, as if they were vanishing into thin air, the boys became invisible.

“It was a plop there, another plop there, and one beyond … even the ball disappeared as Constantino approached,” said Eduardo Flores, guard of the mysteries from this stadium at 3,601 meters above sea level, which turned 90 years old on January 16.

He doesn’t believe in paranormal phenomena. “But I respect them,” he says to Clarion. And he continues with a story from the unknown dimension: “One day some scared workers came from locker room number four, where we were doing some renovations, because they saw a broom sweeping by itself. I told them that this was impossible and I accompanied them to the place so that they would lose their fear ”.

“When we were about to enter, we began to hear sweeps, first timid, then enthusiastic. I thought it was a joke, so with all the energy I opened the door and then I saw that … The broom did indeed sweep by itself! And on top of that it seemed that he was looking at us ”, he says with his eyes fixed on that memory.

Eduardo Flores is 66 years old and has been taking care of even the smallest detail of Hernando Siles for 35 years, the stadium where Lionel Messi will try to write a happy page for Argentines on Tuesday. The same where the National Team that Diego Maradona trained, also with Leo with the 10, suffered a historic defeat of 6 to 1 against Bolivia, on April 1, 2009.

“I have a secret to tell about that game: that day we launched networks and they brought us luck for eight years in a row, a record. It was a gift from Mr. Alfonso Seligman, promoter of professional arbitration and Bolivian sports, who at that time was an official of the German embassy in La Paz. I think the elves helped but review the videos: that great day, the nets that we inflated six times looked flawless, ”recalls the administrator, also familiar with the cabal that surrounds the environment.

What happened to those networks? They went through their cycle, turned black and were discarded. But they had no replacement and a crisis broke out in the stadium administration.

How could they get others if there was no budget? Flores moved his contacts, called the Bolivian tenor Rodolfo Gemio Fernandez to the Scala in Milan, where he came to sing with Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti. “I have this problem. If the networks do not appear, Conmebol can disqualify us ”, was heard from one continent to another.

The tenor, also a fan of shouting the goals of the Bolivian National Team, communicated with the Atalanta bar, in Bergamo, Italy, and the new networks appeared. They were released in decisive matches against Chile, Argentina and Brazil, and returned to bring luck to The green. In addition to elves, there are angels in the Siles.

Whenever the souls of the Siles seemed to calm down, the sprinklers would act on their own, even in the middle of the game. Cameramen who stayed until the end of the broadcast felt slaps on the shoulder when they disassembled their equipment, with no one behind. A cable puller that was Bolívar’s mascot even said that one midnight he felt “his feet tickled, like children’s hands” in the gloom of the tunnel that leads to the playing field.

“They are the goblins, they do not hurt, they are here. These things happen, it’s true, they happen ”, Flores, the incredulous, tries to explain, although not so much. He himself had to discover a dead fan in the upper stalls. And listen to the story of an adobe wall collapse in 1930 that caused 11 people to drown in a water tank below.

The legends reawakened five years ago, during the transmission of a Copa Libertadores match between The Strongest and the Defender Sporting From Uruguay. The Bolivians won 2 to 0 and the game time was running out, when the camera captured the image of a black silhouette that was running through the tribune at high speed, crossing a wire fence and without the other fans noticing.

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