On Sunday I went to see Palmeiras take on São Caetano in what was my first live game of ‘futebol’ since arriving back in Brazil. Although I have watched football in Brazil and around South America before it still strikes me how different the experience of watching football is here compared to back in the UK. This is particularly true when you consider that the last game I caught in the UK took place on a very cold and wet night just before New Years Eve – and it involved Dagenham & Redbridge and Gillingham1.
“Why would you do that?” I hear you ask.
Well, Gillingham are the team I support (my father is to blame entirely), and it was my final opportunity to see them play before I left for Brazil. Fortunately, a friend took pity and accompanied me as my wife had point-blank refused to go2. Inevitably, as I have come to experience over many long and painful years, the Gills threw away an early lead and succumbed meekly to a 2-1 defeat against one of the division’s weaker sides.
On Sunday Palmeiras were seemingly just as big a disappointment to their fans. This was because Palmeiras (2nd in the São Paulo State championship) were overwhelming favourites against São Caetano (mid-table3), and as it was a ‘home’4 game the Palmeiras fans seemed somewhat expectant of a routine victory. Unfortunately for them it ended 0-0 despite their new striker Barcos (Argentinian, cool name, looks like a pirate) missing the best of many chances they had to win the game. Continue Reading