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
For those who read about my debut appearance on Brazilian TV you can now see it here!
In Part 1 I make the majority of my appearance from about 38:40 onwards but checkout my extensive interview at 40:10. I think I look extremely comfortable under the spotlight.
In Part 2 you can see where Seu Jorg makes the mistake of jamming with another Gringo instead of me (from 10:40).
After schmoozing with Brazilian celebs last week my wife and I decided that we (I) deserved a hard-earned break somewhere far away from São Paulo. Somewhere where people wouldn’t recognise me in the street.
And so we took advantage of the long holiday weekend to travel down to Foz do Iguaçu in the south-west of Brazil.
Map copyright PlanetWare.com
From Foz, which is close to both the borders of Paraguay and Argentina, you can visit the extraordinary Iguaçu Falls – we intended to view them from both Argentina and Brazil.
However, this is South America so, you know, the best laid plans of mice and men and all that.
Saturday was lost to an epic storm whilst Sunday was even more disastrous. At the entrance to the Argentinian side they wouldn’t accept Brazilian Reais or payments by card. Then, the ATM wouldn’t give us any money.
Frustrated, we crossed back over the border and instead went to the Brazilian side where they accepted Reais, Argentinian Pesos, Dollars, payments by card and even bloody Euros.
Brazilian inefficiency? Who would dare ever speak of such a thing? Pah!
And the view wasn’t too bad either. Continue Reading