Futebol – Brazilian Soccer

So I had the pleasure of going to see my favorite Brazilian league team since childhood, Corinthians play a game on Sunday. My buddy Fernando and I went to stadium famously know as ‘Pacaembu’ named after the part of town its in. Here’s a shot of the stadium facade:

Fernando and I have been friends for a long time. He’s worked with my Dad for damn near a decade and everytime I come to Brazil we historically hit the town as hard as possible, ‘cept ‘Nando’s had to tone it down a bit since getting married and having a kid, i was in Brazil for the wedding 4 years ago and it was epic… But the days of us pre-gaming with vodka, smirnoff ice and beer at the gas station before hitting the club are gone (It’s very common in Brazil to pre-funk while parked at the gas stations that sell all sorts of booze). Now, I’m simply stoked to pry him away from the family for a Sunday of Futebol do Corinthians! Both of our favorite team. There’s a slew of beer vendors with styrofoam coolers outside of the stadium (all totally illegal of course) and we had a few rounds before the game:

Soccer in Brazil took a turn for the worst near the start of the new millenium. Rioting was happening way too often at major games and organized cheer sections were ordered to disband for the role they played in these deadly riots. Corinthians is the only team whose primary cheer section, Gavioes da Fiel (translates into ‘Faithful Hawks’), was allowed to remain organized, since they doubled as a major National samba school. It’s pretty sweet, cause the samba crews are in the stands at the game and the fans just go crazy when they hear the drums and the team songs. Everyone sings along and everyone knows all the words. I rememeber the team anthem and the simple chants, but you pick the other ones up pretty easily, we’re not talking a complex opus here 🙂

It was a hot sunny Sunday and Corinthinas were playing lowly Linense from the inner part of the state of Sao Paulo. Corinthinas is based in the heart of the city of Sao Paulo and is one of 3 major teams based out of here. They’re really like the Raiders of the Brazilian league. They play tough, physical soccer and have a notorious reputation for doing so, as do their fans. Brazilian soccer by nature is very physical and gritty. Unlike the super technical and precise English Premier league, the Brazilian style features HARD fouls (a lot of em), lots of flopping and just flat out agressive soccer.

The first half ended in a 0-0 draw and i told myself that i’d be pretty pissed if i left the stadium and the team i grew to love as a kid, that i hadn’t seen in person in I dont know how long, drew against a crappy squad like Linense. 30 minutes into the 2nd half, there was still no score and I was getting nervous, but 5 minutes later, Corinthians striker Emerson absolutely blasted a shot from the right side just outside the box that ended the draw, 1-0 Corinthians and the crowd went totally nuts:

The chant is “Timao-aaaaooooo! Eh-Oh! Timao-aaaaooo! Eh-Oh!!” Which means “Best team” or “Biggest team” or “Our team”… In Portuguese, one word or one conjugation can have many meanings.

The game was pretty badass and thats how it ended, 1 X 0 for Corinthians. As we filed out of the stadium, a big sign reading “Cultura de Paz” (“Culture of Peace”) was boldly imprinted on the rafters for all to see as they leave. This is another indicator of the reformation of the hooliganism of old in Futebol:

One final reminder to keep the peace and not fight with each other as you leave. The police force is pretty stacked at the game, you can see some of them along the track in the video. The visiting team had a small section across the stadium from where we were and theres a dedicated force standing along their section as well.

As we left and got near the car, the day wasn’t complete without stopping for some local street food. Today’s fix, a Brazilian style pulled pork sandwich and a Guarana (Brazilian soda…it rules). This felt just like grabbing a Mission/Downtown LA famous bacon wrapped hot dog and i couldn’t resist taking the classic bacon wrapped hot dog photo with the sando:

And that’s how we do a day of Futebol no Brasil! Tchau pra todos!

Spinelli

Playlist:

Criolo – No na Orelha

Future Islands – In Evening Air

Grieves – Together/Apart

Pretty Lights – After Midnight LIVE Mix

White Denim – D

James Blake – James Blake

Gardens & Villa – Gardens & Villa

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Show Your Bones

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