"Is there even a one per cent chance i might be able to get a match ticket before kick off?" I ask the head man in the Copa America press centre.
"No, zero." he replies, with not even a one-percenter of doubt in his eyes. I blagged my way into the River Plate stadium in 2011 for the Copa America final. That time the head bloke felt sorry for me and bent some rules to get me in, but this bloke clearly doesn't feel too sorry about my obvious disappointment.
I was hoping the top guy from the Chilean FA would show even a touch of doubt in his eyes but it is clear he is certain I will not get into the 2015 Copa America final.
Yes, I am gutted. Of all the tournaments I have ever been to: World Cups, European Championships and Copa Americas, this is the one final I have most wanted to go to: Chile vs Argentina. The two best teams in the tournament. The hosts against the favourites. I already knew yesterday I wasn't on the list of press accredited for this match but all the way through the tournament there has been a 'standby list' which I am told most journos usually get in on. Today there is no list and before I asked the head honcho my question, I'd already listened to journalists from Colombia and Chile be told they won't be getting in today either. Like I said though, I was ready to be disappointed. And if this were a night game rather than a 5pm Saturday afternooner, I'd be all up for necking a quick shot of something and trying to blag my way in. But that - as far as I can see - just ain't gonna happen today.
The buzz of expectancy is quite something outside the stadium two hours before kick off. But my intuition says don't even bother frustrating yourself and get back to somewhere near the hostel to watch it.
As it turns out, the boys who run the hostel grew up in the slums of Santiago and are mad football lads. Instead of the Stadion Nacional it is their lounge along with a couple of Cololmbians and a few Argies who are in the city for the craic. The wine and spirit flows and we enjoy the high intensity final which never lets off until 120 minutes are gone and it's penalties.
When Alexis Sanchez strokes home Chile's fourth to make it 4-1 the streets outside errupt in noise. Immediately cars flash by madly beeping their horns. Our hosts do a drunken jig of joy. Chile have won their first ever Copa America and oh, how they bloody deserve it!
Katya and I take the subway to near Plaza Italia so we can check out the wild celebrations. The scenes are more akin to a revolution than winning a football tournament. Marajuana, beer, cocaine and wine mix with marine flares, car horns, police helicopters, drones, vuvuzellas and flags. Santiago is going mental. Absolutely bloody mental.
We hang around in the midst of the madness for an hour until the happy happy vibe just starts to turn slightly and you sense the lads from the slums are gonna soon start chucking rocks at the carabineros.
Well done Chile. I love you for winning this tournament. It has been a brilliant three weeks.
PS I've thrown in a few images I've found on the internet along with mine, to give a sense of the bonkerness in Santiago after the final win...