At one point during my Palmeiras & Corinthians dilemma I considered making life easier for myself by ditching both of them and following one of São Paulo’s other teams instead. To fill you in on why I didn’t (kind of) here’s the lowdown on what else São Paulo had to offer this intrepid football explorer.
São Paulo FC
I have to be honest and admit that I never really considered opting for São Paulo FC. Firstly, they have, by Brazilian standards, a pretty boring name and their kit isn’t particularly inspiring either. Secondly, whilst they are one of Brazil’s most successful teams and play in one of the country’s biggest stadiums, it’s bloody miles from where I live and frankly it’s a pain in the arse to get to. God, I sound shallow.
Morumbi, when I went to see Corinthians play there in 2008.
My impression of São Paulo was not helped further by the palava I experienced when I tried to go and see them play against Portuguesa during the São Paulo state championship*. First, it took us nearly two hours to get there then when we finally arrived there were huge queues to buy tickets – queues that did not move beyond kick-off. We eventually gave up 15 minutes into the game.
The most frustrating thing about the whole episode was that they play in a stadium that has a capacity of over 65,000. The attendance that day? 16,883.
Rubbish. Continue Reading
Eddie Thompson, the late chairman of Dundee United, was once famously quoted as saying, “You can change your wife, your house, your car, but you can never change your team”. I generally agree although unfortunately it means I’m destined for a life of perennial underwhelming – I support Gillingham.
However, whilst there may only be one team you’ll ever truly support, I think it’s also fairly normal to follow or have an affection for others. Even Eddie Thompson did, he was apparently a Motherwell fan before he became involved with Dundee United.
In my case I have a soft spot for my home town team of Sutton United. They were the first team that my father took me to watch when I was a kid and just six months into my football supporting career we saw them beat Coventry City 2-1. To this day they’re still the last non-league club to defeat a team from the top division in the FA Cup.
And then there’s Brazil. Do I have a team? Yes, I have a team.
Kind of. Continue Reading
Imagine you are the chairman of a football club and your manager comes to you and says, “I need to sign this player”. What would be your first thoughts? I think mine would be: “How much is he going to cost and do we have the money?”
Well, not if you’re the chairman of a Brazilian football club. Remember the Tevez / Corinthians saga? Corinthians wanted Tevez but Man City refused because they couldn’t get any assurances as to whether they would receive any money. Well, it looks like Palmeiras are attempting something similar. Continue Reading
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.
Gills v Daggers
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
On Sunday I went to see my first game of ‘futebol’ since arriving back in Brazil and I’m going to post something soon about how experiencing a game here differs from that in the UK. However, until then here is a link to my sister-in-law’s blog. This post is about when she came to the UK last summer and what she thought about her experience of going to see a game there.
NB. It’s in Portuguese but if you use Google Translate you should get the idea and it’s definitely worth it!
Macarrão com Salsicha Tur – Futebol na Inglaterra | Macarrão com Salsicha.