Stream It Or Skip It?

At this point in the history of soccer (football to everyone else on the planet), hooliganism has been a problem worldwide. In the new series Puerta 7, we see a whole new degree of hooliganism; not just people getting drunk and starting fights, but dealing drugs and other contraband. Who knew organized crime thrived in soccer stadia? Read on for more…


Opening Shot: Shots of an empty stadium, and fans of the Ferroviarios Football Club rallying outside the stadium.

The Gist: As we see the fans enter the stadium via Gate 7 (where Puerta 7 gets its name), there are a few in that section that are more than just normal fans. It’s the section where the hooligans sit, and fights are often started there. But it’s also where a lot of drugs are dealt and other organized crime activity thrives. But when Lomito (Carlos Belloso), the gang’s leader, is stabbed in the middle of the game, the activity in that section is more than just a fight.

The disguised attacker came into the stadium untouched by security, so Lomito, who survives the attack, and his right-hand-man Fabian (Esteban Lamothe) think it might be an inside job. They chase the stabber into a neighborhood mural painting event run by Diana (Dolores Fonzi), an NGO lawyer who has a family stake in the Ferroviarios team but hates the corruption that has infiltrated the team and its fans.

Also hating it is the owner, Guillermo (Antonio Grimau), who is losing money on the team but doesn’t want to sell his best player, despite the insistence of Santiago (Juan Gil Navarro), the team’s general manager. It turns out that Santiago, though, is stoking the criminal activity in the stadium, getting his cut, of course, all without Guillermo knowing.

Guillermo brings Diana in and asks her to be the team’s head of security. He wants to clean the team up after the stabbing incident, which includes tightening security around the stadium. He knows that she wants to preserve the legacy her family built with the team, and he figures her connections can help him. But her girlfriend wonders if she can balance this with her NGO job and their relationship.

Meanwhile, a kid from the neighborhood named Mario (Nacho Quesada) goes to Fabian, via a friend of his he knows is connected for a job after twin teens beat up his father (Daniel Valenzuela) and steal the truck he uses to pick up metal scraps to sell. His dad gets wind of it and he’s upset; their family has been pretty honest to this point, and he doesn’t want Mario to be the first to turn to the world of gangs in order to make a buck, no matter how desperate they are.

PUERTA 7 on Netflix
Photo: Alejandro Lipszyc/Netflix

Our Take: Created by Martin Zimmerman (Ozark, Narcos), the world that Puerta 7 builds is likely not all that familiar to people north of the Mexican border. We know that in a country like Argentina, soccer is king. We even know that some teams have a hooliganism problem among its fans. But what we didn’t realize is that the hooligans could be part of an organized crime syndicate distributing drugs and other illegal items within the stadium. It apparently goes on more than most people realize, and the multiple factions that are warring for that turf in the stadium makes for some interesting drama.

But you as the viewer will have to buy into this premise before being able to enjoy Puerta 7. If you don’t care about soccer, or what goes on inside the stadium, or the idea of hooliganism in a professional sporting event is foreign to you, the stakes of this show will feel very low to you. But, in a way, this show isn’t much different than other shows where rival gangs fight for territory; millions of dollars are at stake, after all. Here, though, we have the added faction of Diana, a fan and member of one of the club’s founding families, trying to clean things up at the behest of the owner.

So there will be a lot of factions fighting it out for dominance over what seems like a relatively small area of influence. But given how big soccer is in Argentina, and you realize how high the stakes really are, you’ll enjoy the show more. The characters are clearly drawn, and their situations and alliances are pretty clear by the end of the first episode. Once that’s clear in your head, the rest of the series should be interesting to watch.

Sex and Skin: Nothing.

Parting Shot: After Lomito gets revenge by blowing up a drug deal that the gang of his rival, nicknamed “The Octopus”, was in the middle of, The Octopus tells Santiago — obviously being the “inside man” — that he wants revenge. Santiago tells him to wait for things to blow over.

Sleeper Star: None, really.

Most Pilot-y Line: Diana sees a fan smoking near where she lives and asks, “Did you do it?” Great detective work!

Our Call: STREAM IT. Whether you’re a soccer fan or not, Puerta 7 is a well-told tale of crime and corruption in a place you might not expect.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon,,, Fast,, Billboard and elsewhere.

Stream Puerta 7 On Netflix