I have to admit I got a little excited when I learnt Brazil would be playing a friendly in São Paulo against South Africa. I mean, it’s not very often that a gringo like me will have the opportunity to watch the world’s most successful footballing nation play in their own backyard.
So, fearing a sell-out I bought tickets almost as soon as they went on-sale, and as the game approached I started to think about some of the issues that might be thrown up.
What, I thought, would it be like to experience watching the Seleção play in Brazil in front of their own fans? Would the players be over the disappointment of losing the Olympic final? And how would the fans react to the homecoming of the team following that disappointment?
On a different note, I was also intrigued to find out how well prepared, in terms of organisation and spectator experience, Brazil and the CBF (the Brazilian footballing federation) are for putting on internationals in what will be one of the main host cities during the World Cup.
Finally, and most importantly, I was concerned as to whether factor 30 suncream be enough to prevent this pasty, white gringo from being burnt to a cinder whilst we sat on the roofless upper tier of the Morumbi – it was, apparently, going to be an unusually hot day for early September. Continue Reading