The much-awaited dream soccer match between Mexico and Argentina at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium really is going to happen on June 4, 2008. Tickets to the event go on presale Tuesday, April 22, and on public sale May 5. The presale comes with conditions, though; tickets are available on Ticketmaster’s website, and only then through use of a Visa credit card. The public sale will open things up considerably. Tickets will be generally available through numerous sources nationwide and in Mexico, online or by phone. Face values per ticket will vary from between $25 and $100.

Latin American soccer is more important than life or death, according to Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano. “Like it or not, for better or worse, in these days of doubt and desperation, football-club colors are for many Latin Americans the only certainty worthy of absolute faith, the true source of the greatest jubilation and deepest sadness,” Galeano, who founded the Argentinean magazine Crisis, once wrote.

Argentina is one of the world’s top soccer teams, having won the FIFA World Cup twice, and been runners-up twice. They are currently ranked No.1 worldwide. Mexico, while not quite enjoying the pedigree of the Argentines, has vast numbers of fans in the San Diego area, making this the biggest soccer event in the city’s history. High-profile stars from both teams play for various successful European clubs, such as Manchester United, Barcelona, and Inter Milan. It is believed that Argentina’s big guns Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, and Esteban Cambiasso will see this as a way to flex their muscles ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifying games looming on the horizon. Barcelona’s Messi is regarded by some as the world’s best player – and was voted Sports Illustrated Latino’s 2007 Sportsman of the Year – while Tevez has made a huge impact at Manchester United, scoring an important goal at the weekend to keep United in the English Premiership title race.

The Argentina game is the second in a two-part series for Mexico; last Wednesday, April 16, saw more than 56,000 cram into Seattle’s Qwest Field to watch Mexico beat China 1-0. The Mexican team continues to use interim coach Jesus “ChuCho” Ramirez, who stepped in as a temporary replacement for Hugo Sanchez, recently deposed. Mexican fans are famously passionate, with a 2007 match held in San Diego against Venezuela breaking the city’s all-time attendance record for a soccer game. But Argentina is renowned for being able to take the heat in any kitchen, so this one will be a scorcher. Tickets are expected to move super-fast for this match against the world’s best, and the atmosphere predicted to be surreal.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals

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