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Brazil's temperamental fans

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Tim Vickery | 11:50 UK time, Monday, 21 November 2011

A year ago, when the Soccerex trade fair came to Rio, I ended up taking some BBC bigwigs to a Brazilian league game - Botafogo against Internacional.

It was the penultimate round of the campaign and much was at stake. Botafogo badly needed a win to qualify for the Copa Libertadores, South America's Champions League equivalent, for the first time since 1996.

The stadium was half-full, with a crowd of 19,604, which surprised the visitors all the more when I explained that tickets were half-price in an attempt to pack as many in as possible.

Botafogo lost 2-1 and the home crowd probably hindered as much as it helped. My guests were amazed at how the home fans turned against their own team, picking out certain players for particularly vicious treatment.

Bruno Cortes

Talented, 24 year-old Brazilian left-back, Bruno Cortes (black & white stripes), made his international debut in their 2-0 win over Argentina in September 2011. PHOTO: Getty   

Almost exactly a year later - this time a round earlier - the two teams met in very similar circumstances.

Once again Botafogo needed a victory in their quest to qualify for the Libertadores. Once again they lost 2-1.

Only this time, instead of a crowd of nearly 20,000, they were being cheered - and booed - by just 5,483.

The poor turn-out is not hard to explain.

A couple of weeks ago Botafogo were in contention for the title but the team has been on a downward slope for a while and, when scratchy wins gave way to a run of defeats, many of the supporters gave up.

Coach Caio Junior was sacked in midweek but even if, as now seems likely, they again miss out on qualification for the Libertadores, Botafogo have exceeded expectations.

At the start of the season many had them down as relegation candidates.

Sunday's defeat means they drop to eighth place - but they are only two points behind the team in the final Libertadores slot with two matches to go.

It is not a disaster - although the fans treated it as such.

While the game was still goalless they were voicing their displeasure and this week's pantomime villain was their own left-back Bruno Cortes.

A few short weeks ago he was their idol. The 24-year-old Brazilian has had a strange career, with spells in Qatar and lower-division Spanish football before playing for minor Rio clubs.

Then he caught the eye of Botafogo and joined them for this championship.
He quickly made an impression.

With his wild hair, Cortes has the air of a showman - and he proved there is something different about him when he chose to hold his wedding reception in a fast food restaurant in a working-class Rio suburb.

On the field his powerful attacking surges made the fans hungry for more - and he went from local to national favourite at the end of September when he made an eye-catching debut for Brazil against Argentina in a game where only domestic-based players were considered.

Cortes was riding high but he was also riding for a fall. His dramatic progress could not hide the fact that his skill set was far from complete.

He is the type of attacking full-back who needs to have space in front of him in which to thrive.

The defensive side of his game is poor and, inevitably, opponents studied him, identified his weaknesses and went to work on them.

That gave Cortes a psychological problem as well as a technical one.

Suddenly everything was more difficult - and the pressure cranked up still further when the fans of his own team turned against him.

On Sunday they got their way as Cortes was substituted at half-time.

This is an aspect of Brazilian football culture that I find profoundly disagreeable - and it extends to the media.

Local radio and TV journalists have an admirable fluency in front of the microphone and the ingenuity of the written press is put to the test by the 2200 kick-offs.

But, among the many good things, there is also a negative side - a tendency to shout the odds about this player being totally useless or that coach knowing absolutely nothing.

Criticism of players' performances and coaches' decisions is a vital and necessary part of the media's role.

But it should take place in a context of respect that no truly bad player survives at the top level for long.

The same does not necessarily apply to the administrators.

Ricardo Teixeira would surely not have become President of the CBF, Brazil's FA, in 1989 had he not at the time been the son-in-law of vastly influential former FIFA boss Joao Havelange.

Teixeira is also president of the 2014 World Cup local organising committee.

Even so, he dodged the responsibility for naming the host cities.

Worried about the political cost of excluding candidates, he pushed the decision to Fifa, after first having successfully lobbied for 12 venues, rather than eight or 10, to be used.

The costs of staging the tournament have spiralled as a result. But Teixeira goes on and on after 22 years in charge.

This is a place where an excess of intolerance for the players can coexist with an exaggerated tolerance for the failings of those who run the game.

Please comment on the piece in the space provided and send your questions on South American football to vickerycolumn@hotmail.com - I will pick out a couple for next week.

From last week's postbag;

Q) Everybody knows about home advantage in football, especially when it comes to World Cups. Brazil seem to play friendlies abroad, possibly for financial reasons, but frequent visits to England for matches, along with recent friendlies in Africa are hardly going to help the team get used to playing in their own country. With the squad being one of the worst in recent years, do you not feel that the number of matches they play abroad could have a detrimental affect come 2014?
Ian Stanley

A) It clearly is essential for Brazil to start playing at home. They are aware of this and will start doing so in the run-up to 2014 using Fifa dates to stage matches on home soil. Coach Mano Menezes recognises it is essential because the Brazilian crowds can be so demanding and so quick to turn against their own team. The 2014 side will face unprecedented pressure and playing some games in front of their own fans should help toughen them up for the task ahead.

Q) I was wondering what your thoughts were on Paraguayan striker Rodolfo Gamarra. He was once highly thought of and I am very surprised no European teams have picked him up. I would have thought he made have even moved to Brazil or Argentina.
Dominic Brady

A) He is a very interesting little striker, tricky in one-on-one situations and packing a surprisingly fierce shot. He was great in the first half of last year and got on the plane to the 2010 World Cup as a result.
But that's where it stops. He was the only outfield Paraguayan player not to get on the field in South Africa and hasn't made progress since. Under Jorge Burruchaga his club side, Libertad, are looking a bit more cautious and he is spending a lot of time on the bench. Perhaps it has been hard for him to maintain a standard and deal with higher expectations. 2012 is a big year for him.

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    First! I'm first! And Texeira didn't even 'arrange' it for me. Good stuff, Tim. I like it when you give us an insight into the cultural stuff around the game in Latin America. I'm thinking of having my wedding reception at a greasy spoon, too. Touch of class.

  • Comment number 2.

    Great blog Tim

  • Comment number 3.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 4.

    Interesting stuff as always Tim.

    I've never understood why some fans boo their own players - especially if they are clearly talented players who need to be confident to play at their best (eg. attacking full-backs or wingers). I mean, a Brazilian full-back with defensive frailties - who'd have thunk it? I guess fans are notoriously short-sighted and Teixeira still being top dog is just another example of this.

  • Comment number 5.

    Another great blog Tim. As it stands it must be Uruguay who have the best chance of all the South American nations at the 2014 World Cup. While playing games on home soil in the run up to the tournament will help them, I still believe the expectations of a demanding home crowd will cripple the Brazilian team.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good article. One only wonders what they would do to the national team if they fail to win the WC in 2014. Worse if they lose to arch rivals Argentina at say the halfway stage. They better buckle up and win it:)

  • Comment number 7.

    Nice comments on an issue that really bothers me in Brazilian football. Frankly, I am of the opinion that fans in Brazil are just too impatient and expect way too much to come out from the playing field.

    But this seems to be more of a localized tendency, centered in São Paulo and, more specifically, Rio de Janeiro. I really don't see that happening too much in other places in Brazil, even though it does happen also...

    Rio fans can be really annoying with their clubs and, specially, with the National team. I recall one match in a fully-packed Maracanã stadium (if i'm not mistaken, it was the last match of the Brazilian NT in the old Maracanã), Brazil v. Equador, valid for the 2010 WC qualifyings, in which the team was playing not-quite-as-expected football in the beggining of the 1st half and it only took about 20 minutes for an overwhelming boo to start. The strange thing is, however, that the Seleção was in control of the match, did not suffer any sort of pressure from the adversary and was creating some (few) chances. They were not playing that bad, they were just playing slow, uninspired football. These boos were directed specially at Ronaldinho, who seemed uninterested in the match, and Vagner Love, who missed a few clear goal scoring chances. The jeering ended when Vagner Love scored the first goal of the match... but restarted in the 2nd half. When Vagner Love was substituted, he was heavilly booed, even though scoring in the 1st half. The night ended in a lovelly 5-0 victory and the crowd cheered.

    Now, I recognize the importance of jeering as a way of bringing out the team from complacency. Sometimes, it is necessary. However, this is being way overused in Brazilian football and, IMO, mars the quality of the spectacle... the psychological factor is a very important, mostly forgotten, aspect of the game, and too much booing can significantly hamper the spirit of a team desperately needing to build up confidence.

    Maybe brazilians should learn a few things with fans from Argentina, they rarely boo their clubs (this is opposite to the NT, which has been jeered a lot lately)...

  • Comment number 8.

    I think Brazil should have played the south american qualifiers, however with their results omitted from the final table.

    That way they play semi-competitive games rather than silly matches in gabon and the other south american teams get their glamour games, cash and good experience.

  • Comment number 9.

    "and he proved there is something different about him when he chose to hold his wedding reception in a fast food restaurant in a working-class Rio suburb."

    Brilliant. I'm guessing Bob's...

    Or perhaps he went upmarket and went to new Burger King that seem to be sprouting up allover Brazil at the moment.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm often amazed watching Brazilian games on TV and the acres of empty seats, even, it seems, for important games between big teams. What's the reason for this? How do the teams survive with such few paying fans... television revenues?

  • Comment number 11.

    @9

    No, it wasn´t Bob´s - it was Habib´s.

  • Comment number 12.

    10 - a very good point. Average crowds in Brazil are lower than in the USA - one of FIFA's hopes of the 2014 World Cup is to increase crowds in domestic games.

    Even though they can't always get fans through the turnstyles the big clubs can still count their supporters in tens of millions watching on TV - that's the root of much of their current strong financial position, because in a consumption-led boom sponsors can reach this market through a relationship with the clubs.

  • Comment number 13.

    11.At 16:08 21st Nov 2011, Claudio RK wrote:
    @9

    No, it wasn´t Bob´s - it was Habib´s.

    -----------------------

    Love Habib's. Cant wait to eat it when I go to Brazil again in January. Infact I have requested it as my first meal at my girlfriends parents house. Can we have it in UK please.

  • Comment number 14.

    Regaring Teixiera - I think it´s a case of ... "so what ... we know ... everybody here is corrupt", conformity reigns... regarding Cortes I saw him have one or two good games for Botafogo - but no more ..... Botafogo´s problem is down to their club President .. everything else spirals from there.... As Loco Abreu said on tv - the same thing happened last year .. makes me wonder if I should place a bet for next year...

  • Comment number 15.

    Very interesting blog Tim, can you provide us with some more info on the average price of match tickets for Brazilian Championship games...do they go up for the bigger games and finally are matches watched by the Brazilian public on TV at home - paid for by subscription - or mainly in bars or cafes? Sorry...one more - are the Copa Libertadores' games much better attended?

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Tim,

    Methinks there are a number of issues here but the overriding issue for me is that Brazilian football is looking at its game from the wrong end of the perspective.

    My guess - though I am probably wrong - is that both the Brazilian FA and its members (teams) start at 'how can we maximize profits' and then work backwards, towards their own individual teams, infrastructure etc. What I mean is, by aiming to make money being their first (only?) priority, they have to create something that will 'sell' overseas (incl. players, but mainly I mean their 'product' - football) and are forgetting or rejecting just what Brazilian football is. Perhaps the ridiculous 10pm kick-offs are just a small example of this? This must be for commercial purposes only (i.e. overseas TV viewing & revenue) surely?

    It is my humble (and uninformed) opinion that if Brazilian football/teams were to 'free' themselves to return to the 'old days' of flair, magic, freedom and dozens of 'wow!' moments per game that TV companies would come a knocking, begging to show their brilliance to the World, allowing the clubs to almost name their price and not have to change their football or infrastructure at all.

    Dwindling attendances and general morale come as no surprise when the bosses of Brazilian football are more concerned with selling a fake, plastic product overseas than exciting their own nation through honest, passionate and natural football.

  • Comment number 17.

    @16

    Don't want to go miles off the topic of the article but I can't see the days of old free flair and magic can ever work again at the international level. Teams to set up and be too organised defensively to be broken down like that any more.

    The way of modern football I fear.

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't want to sound a doom-monger but IF there are any problems with Brazil 2014 whereby international football clearly comes out 2nd best then by Qatar 2022 or wherever it's held if like Colombia it has its WC removed then that might be the last ever World Cup - if Brazil, its football, its fans, can't make it sucessful then what chance anywhere else?

  • Comment number 19.

    about the average crowds lower than usa could due to that the most of brazilian international team are in europe where as the usa international team are mainly in usa with few american internationals in europe (howard at everton, dempsey at fulham etc). its like that in county cricket people used to go and watch the england players play county cricket now they dont apart from limited overs. also usa are getting more recoganised names henry, robbie keane, beckham etc.

  • Comment number 20.

    #18

    with sepp blatter in charge at fifa and the brazillian fa football has become political with people using to enhance their profile or getting bigger balances.

  • Comment number 21.

    i dont know if you have already answered some questions about Fluzao but im a big fan. I wanted to get your thought on the form of Fred and Rafael Sobis, can you see any european team taking a chance on them?

  • Comment number 22.

    RE. comment #16, I was always under the impression that the ridiculous 22:00 kickoff times were due to the (tele)novelas, which generally run from approx. 19:00 to just before 22:00. Most Brazilian ladies I know would confirm this. Since TV Globo tends to own the rights to the largest chunk of national (and international) football games in addition to broadcasting the highest-rated novelas, they run the programming consecutively. I for one wouldn't want to decide which channel the TV is tuned to should there ever be a programming clash...

  • Comment number 23.

    18.At 18:16 21st Nov 2011, GrandFalconRailroad wrote:
    I don't want to sound a doom-monger but IF there are any problems with Brazil 2014 whereby international football clearly comes out 2nd best then by Qatar 2022 or wherever it's held if like Colombia it has its WC removed then that might be the last ever World Cup - if Brazil, its football, its fans, can't make it sucessful then what chance anywhere else?

    ..........................................................................................................
    Good point, one can't help thinking the world cup is at a crossroads with all FIFA's antics. The competition is potentialy in the last chance saloon. You can take the game to as many "New Frontiers" as you like but if the competition is basically of a poor standard and unexciting ( as was South Africa) then it will die a death.

    Brazil 2014 needs to be a big success on the pitch as much as off it an for that it will need a vibrant Brazilian team.

  • Comment number 24.

    Is the World Cup realy at a crossroads?? I mean, the event is generating more and more profits each time it is held... Brazil 2014 will be a success, certainly, but there will be some trouble with local infrastructure; not stadiums, but airports and transportation in general. Not that they'll colapse or anything, it'll just make things not as smooth as they should be (delays will happen!)...

    Even if Brazil NT fails to meet standards, there will be others ready to fill that gap, just check South Africa: Spain, Chile and, specially, Germany were really entertaining. I thought it was very entertaining, better than WC 2006!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    Spain also does 10pm kick-offs, although it's restricted to the weekends I think.

    Re. the US I think it's a little unfair to compare. North America has only one professional division featuring just 19 teams for around 340 million people. These teams play far fewer matches than clubs in Brazil meaning there is a degree of scarcity in terms of home matches, whilst stadiums are nicer and safer than in Brazil (new grounds can lead to bumps, look at Juve). They also have monopolies on local markets - i.e just one team for regions with millions of people. Furthermore, many grounds are purposely small which together with season tickets means there is limited availability of on-the-day tickets. Finally, Americans and Canadians are just on average far wealthier than average Brazilians. They earn more, play less tax on their earnings and consume regular products (clothes, electronics, etc) which are cheaper even ignoring exchange rates. They have a lot more disposable income to play with.

  • Comment number 26.

    Great blog tim.

    I always assumed that Brazilian fans were great because of the atmosphere at some of their international games I've seen. But the botafogo example is disgraceful, and by the sounds of it it's similar across brazil.

    Having said that, English fans can hardly take the moral high ground. Just this weekend, burnley fans booed after their defeat to Leeds, as did millwall when they lost to (the mighty!) Bristol city. And so did Chelsea fans. I'm not just picking on these clubs, it happens all over the country.

    @18 and @23

    The world cup will outlive both you and me by years!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Brazilian fans are basically massive glory hunters that make Devon-based Man United fans look loyal. When things are going well or there's a big, vital match they'll be queueing up all week to get a ticket - when things are going badly or it's an unimportant match they'll be nowhere to be seen.

    I went to Flamengo-Fluminense local derby a few years ago on a Sunday before Flu's Copa Lib semi final the following Wednesday. You could literally count the number of Flu fans in attendance - a couple of hundred at most. Imagine Man United playing City on a Sunday before a big midweek Champions League match and only having 200 fans inside Old Trafford!

  • Comment number 28.

    26.

    The world cup will outlive both you and me by years!!
    .....................................................................................................
    I hope so but I fear for its future. International football is under threat by the wealthiest clubs whose owners (increasingly big businesses or insanely wealthy people) have no time for it.

    FIFA does not help its own cause and is seemingly imploding.

    Brazil is a true football heartland. The world cup needs 2014 to work.

  • Comment number 29.

    On the crowd influence topic, I'll repeat one of my all-time great football experiences. Newcastle-Arsenal about 1961, 34,000 crowd, fairly even game for 34 minutes. Then Arsenal scored - and unwittingly sealed their fate. The moment the ball hit the net, the whole ground began chanting: "New-cas-ell! New-cas-ell!" It was electrifying, over-powering - the Arsenal players were clearly stunned. The chant continued unchecked until the 43rd minute, when Newcastle equalised and a great roar erupted. The match was effectively over, Newcastle coasted to a 3-1 victory. The crowd scored that goal and won the match. A great example for supporters in Brazil, perhaps.

  • Comment number 30.

    I went to a couple of games in Brazil about five years ago. The thing I noticed is that some of the grounds aren't easy to get to. There isn't much public transport options to get to the grounds which I am sure makes for low attendances.
    It is strange, football is everywhere in the cities of Brazil from people playing, watching on TV but actually going to a game seems a massive undertaking.

  • Comment number 31.

    If the likes of sandro rosell get their way then maybe that will come true, but I'd like to think common sense will prevail.

  • Comment number 32.

    I was very negative of English crowds in my earlier post, but I'd just like to highlight a plus point. A couple of years ago I went to a Bristol city game away to west brom. We were 4-0 down after an hour, but from then on we chanted non-stop, comfortably outchanting the home fans. This noticeably galvanised the players and, although we still lost 4-1, the players came out of it with plenty of dignity. The away support in this country is outstanding.

  • Comment number 33.

    I watch football in Sao Paulo a fair bit and have always thought they are the most fickle supporters in the world. Massive stadiums at on 10% capacity and a ring of riot police to pour further cold water on proceedings... yet they are advanced enough to use female officials without so much as batting an eye... Kenny would go potty!

  • Comment number 34.

    OK it's a long time since 1992 when I saw Vasco v Fogo at the Maracana with almost 100,000 other fans but what's happened? Hate to say it but live games on tv and the internet are to blame.
    I still go to games here in Scotland in the nightmare weather but fans are staying away, price is too high for what's on offer and atmosphere? What's that?

  • Comment number 35.

    @ 5: can you imagine the psychological damage of another Uruguayan WC triumph on Brazilian soil?!!!
    @ 6: ...or Argentina. Following several very successful years under Dunga, and the way the public and media turned on him after their elimination in the WC2010 it was crystal clear that whoever took over the post was being handed a poison chalice. Especially with the unrealistic expectations being attached to a WC2014 win that is supposed to purge the demons of 1950.
    @ 7: I quite agree that the psychological element of the game is still vastly underrated. You can rationalise that it shouldn't make a difference, but the fact is, it does!
    @ 8: that's a VERY interesting idea and should be considered in future. It is possible that it wouldn't be adopted, however, because the CBF look to make a lot of money from their friendlies.
    @ 10: I agree that it is disgraceful, but if you look at the behaviour and intellectual level on display in the public postings on most Brazilian football blogs you can understand that fewer and fewer people are disposed to subject themselves and their families to that sort of attitude at a match nowadays. Especially as there are so many other things you can do for the same or less money that do not involve 'burning your ears' and risking physical harm.
    @ 18: quite!
    2 21: Tim can undoubtedly give you a fuller answer, but my take on Fred is that, despite the fact that he has been dogged by injury in the last few years, he has been the prime influence in Flu's title last season and their ressurgence and late drive for the title again this season. I'm sure that European clubs will be taking renewed interest in him, but Brazilian clubs are trying ever so hard to hang onto their genuine stars these days, in order to build the prominence of local club football worldwide (obviously fuelled by the huge amounts of money involved in TV deals and the greed of the game's authorities over here).
    @ 22: you're spot on there!
    @ 25: good points!

  • Comment number 36.

    Tim, you have hit on such important topics in this post!!!
    First let me agree whole heartedly with you about Botafogo. I had them down for a low mid-table battle this season and they have definitely over-performed. For that to cost the job of a coach I respect is just absurd.
    Let me cite another example: Palmeiras. After 25 games, they were in 7th place and had the best defensive record in the league. Their only 'crime' was that they had drawn too many games they might have won. But that wasn't good enough for their so-called fans, who started a witch hunt, targeting one player and spreading to others, then to Felipão (one of the world's most experienced and successful managers) and the club as a whole. Under this withering barrage of hatred and abuse, the team's performance suffered, to the point that they even flirted with the relegation zone (4 of the 20 go down in Brazil; and position is decided on number of wins, ahead of goal difference, which is also an interesting idea) and aren't far off it even now. Instead of getting behind their club, the pseudo fans almost destroyed it.
    And this brings us onto a wider issue. Nowadays, so many people expect instant gratification, and don't seem to feel they have to do anything to get it, nor that it should be based on realistic possibilities either. This may be a response to indoctrination from politicians' empty promisses, but the upshot is that, when they don't get what they are clamouring for, the demands turn to rage and they go looking for culprits. It's the same sort of ignorance that manifests itself in burning buses because the prices went up, and leads to an unending downward spiral.
    Standing out from all this craziness has been the posture of the Santos management. Having won the Libertadores, which was one of their prime targets for the year, they didn't take long to realise that, despite having the best team in the country, a sustained campaign in pursuit of the league title would run the risk of harming their efforts to nail the other prime target, the World Club title. So they eased off and began preparing for that challenge (ok Tim, I know it's a little more complex than that, and the 4-5 defeat at home to Flamengo, after being 3-0 up and cruising, was a major turning point, but that's what it basically biols down to imo). Nevertheless, home gates were disappointingly low and a lot of so-called fans got on the backs of players and management, because they wanted to win everything and weren't satisfied with anything less.
    This is not an exclusively Brazilian phenomenon, but it seems to be especially noticeable over here, fed by a dumbing down of society under a president who didn't see education as being at all important, or even necessary (due to his own example, which he constantly kept harping on).
    As for the problems at the CBF! The ex-son-in-law's entrenchment seems to be wobbling and he is no doubt trying to convince the government that a change so close to the WC2014 would be bad for Brazil, while at the same time working hard behind the scenes to ensure that if he does go, he'll be replaced by an ally who will continue to favour him, while heading off any attempts to investigate the past. I keep hoping that the people will reach a point where "enough is enough" and turn against corruption, but the corrupt always seem to get around it somehow.

  • Comment number 37.

    Hi there Tim.
    I like reading your blogs and as a fellow Brit married to Brasilian living here in Brasil i like to follow the football here. As all my wifes family are Flamengo like most of the population in Rio and they aren't doing to well themselves like Botafogo which leaves the other 2 Rio teams last years winners Fluminenes who Fred is having a good spell at the moment and title chasing Vasco whos last game of the season is against Flamengo which should be a good derby. Its easy to see see how the crowds turn on their clubs here you only have to look at the local bars when a game is on and with Botafogo my local bar might 2 watching the game Fluminenes perhaps a dozen or so Vasco now its half full 20+ but when its Flamengo its full and standing in the street with a projector showing the match on the end of the apartment wall over the road. So the fact that Botafogo gate is down is not a great surprise.
    So who is going to be champions Vasco or Corinthians?

  • Comment number 38.

    22.00 kicks off. Please take your xenophobia elsewhere.

    This may be difficult to understand for those of you who live in northern climes, but in Mediterranean countries, it is perfectly normal to eat at 22.00 (La Cena).

    I can understand with the nanny state in the UK that it's hard to get your head around being allowed to drink at such late hours but the pleasant thing is you feel like you are treated as a grown up..... it's easier to understand when you live there. I still struggle when I come back to the UK with the UK the pubs shut at 23.00 etc etc. If I want a drink at whatever hour, why can't I have one ?

    Eating times are based on summertime habits when, quite frankly, you don't want to eat any earlier because of the heat. Late night games fit quite normally with life. Any earlier and they may interfere with work.....

    22.00 is only ridiculous if you don't live in the country. To anyone actually there, it is perfectly normal.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm interested in the comments about crowd attendances, Tim. Occasionally, when in the USA, I've watched a bit of football on (motel) TV stations. The games looked like they may have been Mexican (but not sure). I was struck by the woefully small number of people in the grounds, which certainly made it less entertaining TV.

    How representative is this of South American football in general?

  • Comment number 40.

    Correct myself first. I know Mexico is not South America!

  • Comment number 41.

    38 - your comments on late kick offs don't really apply in Brazil - it's not seen as normal at all to have games kicking off at 22:00 - it 's often referred to as 'football at nightclub time' - dictated, as others have mentioned, by TV schedules - getting back home afterwards on public transport is not always easy.

    It doesn't fit the stereotype at all, but big city Brazil is a place where millions are up at 5 or even earlier to get to work on time - and this is not a culture where they have siestas. 22:00 kicks offs in Spain are one thing - here they are something else.

  • Comment number 42.

    Great blog Tim,

    You certainly got a point (or several) about Brazilian football. In fact, you mentioned some time ago that we Brazilians enjoy winning more than watching the game itself.

    But you should have in mind that those who normally watch the Brazilian championship won’t attend the WC. They won’t have the funding. And those who have the money and will support Brazil at the WC are not so demanding. They will attend the WC because they are more attracted by the whole atmosphere in and outside the field. But they are not very supportive as well.

    The media is Brazil’s main source of criticism. By the way, all our WC titles came when there was a lot of criticism. A quite interesting fact.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    As to Ricardo Teixeira, he got into power because of his “connections” as Tim mentioned. But he is still in power only because FIFA backs him all the way. Whenever the Brazilian government challenged Teixeira with a Federal investigation or a Supreme Court hearing FIFA has always threatened Brazil with sanctions. In fact, Brazil's present president is not supporting him and FIFA. But FIFA thinks they will rule Brazil until 2014. It will be a tug of war.

  • Comment number 45.

    That's an interesting snippet of information, Luiz (#44). You can be sure the continuing FIFA sagas will be followed with interest on these blogs (for whatever reasons).
    What is the latest on the issues with ticket prices? I had read that there was a dispute with FIFA about those.

  • Comment number 46.

    Tim, thanks for yet another good blog from you, they are always interesting.

    I am old enough to have attended a couple of matches in 66 [no not the final dad kept that one for himself]. I was also in Germany 74 and Italia 90 for their world cups. Two of those home teams won the cup and you could feel the lift it gave the nation, football went to a new high.

    What will be the effect if Brasil fail to win the cup or worse still, fail miserably? Also would it matter to the fans, if they won the world cup, playing an ugly style of football?

  • Comment number 47.

    #45
    It is quite amazing how far FIFA is going with their claims.

    There is a federal law granting that elders (over 60) get special treatment. They pay half of the regular ticket price and have the right to several treats at public places (such as restricted parking places that only they can use). But FIFA is trying to negotiate that. It seems FIFA won’t win this one. The president herself overruled against FIFA.

    At many states in Brazil students pay half of the regular ticket price, e.g. at the cinema, football, music concerts etc. FIFA rejects it firmly. They are proposing a quota of tickets at half price under (to me) unclear conditions. FIFA says it will enable people who can pay a full price to pay only half. But the logic of the law is that students deserve it. The former sports ministers accepted FIFA’s arguments but he was sacked with corruption charges. The present sports minister has not presented his opinion. I see a tug-of-war coming for sure on this one.

  • Comment number 48.

    FIFA has other “minor” demands which will require legislation changes. They want the official sponsors satisfied despite our law. Oh, and they want the right to arrest people whenever “crimes against FIFA” are made. Don’t laugh because they got that granted by South Africa. And the arrests longed the time suggested by FIFA. You can get that confirmed by the BBC. Romário (who was elected MP) is charging against FIFA for all these nonsense.

  • Comment number 49.

    So in essence tv is killing the domestic game as a spectacle with crowds in what is a football mad nation somewhat below those in our own Championship? I wonder if some games in the group stages will suffer this apathy at the world cup? If fans cant be bothered to watch their own club at admission fees lower Im sure than will be asked for the World Cup why would they bother to turn out for Greece v Iraq or similar? A bit worrying.

  • Comment number 50.

    @38 reetspetit. You clearly haven't been to the UK for a while. 'Closing time' changed a few years back. 22.00 kick-offs aren't 'normal' in Europe either. In Spain Saturday night has *one* match on free-tv at 22.00, the rest of the Saturday games are earlier.

  • Comment number 51.

    For the preparations for Brazil 2014, Mano needs to start arranging 'friendlies' against better opposition. Playing Gabon and Egypt(twice), albeit with experimental teams, will not test the Brazilians fully and to the limit. They need to in the near future play the 3 top teams in the world, namely Germany, Spain and Holland, and with a fully strong squad. Yes i know they played Germany and Holland recently, but again with an experimantal squad that had no cohesion. This will be a real test. Oh how Dunga will be looking in with a wry smile. Also sooner or later Mano will have to decide on his 1st team and try to play them regularly. However initially the Brazilians need to shine and win the olympics next year, gain confidence and go from there. Then i suppose he can try to mould a team that take on the best in the world.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think these impatient fans will have a detrimental effect on the team. Say for example they are winning 2-1 in the first group game against decent opposition, they will still be booed. They are winning 5-0 still boos. They should have patience and wait for the glory to come which it will eventually

  • Comment number 53.

    is it me or is crowd size and behaviour just a really boring topic for a football blog.

    whats next, discussions around car parking and motorway travel to and from games?

    I heard that on the main road to Estádio do Pacaembu, just before junction 13, there is a belting little chef.

  • Comment number 54.

    Not that I am defending Brazilian fans but there are a lot of issues they have to deal with. These 10pm games are a nightmare, despite everyone saying that it is fine for a Latin culture. That is not true.....everyone I know here hates this time and avoids games because of this, unless it is a really big game (Libertadores, classico etc). Getting home after these late night games is not easy.......ever been to the Engenhao or Morumbi??? Transportation is definitely a problem. Games at 8.30pm or 9pm are preferred. I went to see Sao Paulo play in the Libertadores vs Nacional last year and got home at 2am....wont do that again. Also the bigger teams play too many games........State Championships, Copa do Brasil Copa Sul Americana, Libertadores......when the monthly minimum salary is around R$600 (approx 220 pounds) and tickets for games arer at R$30/R$40 (more for Libertadores)......you have to pick and choose.

  • Comment number 55.

    #53 makes a great point.

    I assume this blog is intended for kids at school who can then go and annoy their mates (who aren't really interested) with their 'proper knowledge of real football'...which involves bascially quoting stuff from this blog? Yawn.

  • Comment number 56.

    Tim good blog as always.

    Don't you think that maybe the fans are not so vociferous against those that run the game is that they have nothing to say about it but can display their feelings about the club on the terraces? Also the media are in the pockets of the top people so they keep it cool also.

    Fans are always fickle, we see it here also as you know, however it does seem to be extreme in Brazil and in other South American countries come to that!

    As I said, good blog, always interesting reading which ironically doesn't generate the usual mindless comments other blogs receive.

  • Comment number 57.

    tim parabéns, é muito bom assistir, e ouvir alguem comentar, totalmente isento, estou assistindo o redação sportv com a sua presença e faço minhas as suas palavras...
    a nata do futebol está na europa não tem como questionar, mesmo a impressa brasileira querendo forçar , um neymar como melhor do mundo é muito sem noção, é muito ufanismo beira a imbecilidade. o futebol Brasileiro é emociaonante exatamente por ser nivelado pelo subterraneo, um campeonato onde o primeiro colocado perde para ultimo, um campeonato onde criam Deuses e mitos. o exemplo que ilustra bem essa situação é o robinho, joga no milan é um mediano, volta para o brasil deita e rola . A resvista inglesa FourFourTwo disse: que o futebol brasileiro morreu, causou revolta aqui aos ufanista de plantão de fato não morreu, mas está na UTI. Tim que bom saber que ainda existe opiniões coerentes e sensatas parabéns!!

  • Comment number 58.

    53.At 12:26 22nd Nov 2011, averageBBC_journalist wrote:
    is it me or is crowd size and behaviour just a really boring topic for a football blog.

    whats next, discussions around car parking and motorway travel to and from games?

    I heard that on the main road to Estádio do Pacaembu, just before junction 13, there is a belting little chef.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Phil McNulty behave yourself!

  • Comment number 59.

    55.At 12:37 22nd Nov 2011, clippo wrote:
    #53 makes a great point.

    I assume this blog is intended for kids at school who can then go and annoy their mates (who aren't really interested) with their 'proper knowledge of real football'...which involves bascially quoting stuff from this blog? Yawn.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And you Tom Fordyce!

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm a bit concerned for SA football at the moment. Once a dominant force 10 years ago, European teams now seem to have taken over since Italy 2006. Going on for 5 years now, and unlikely to be properly challenged unless a brilliant SAmercn team emerges.

    Argentina on paper seem the best, but I'm not sure how there form actually is, it's so hard to follow without Extra sports channels here! They have a string of some of the world's best palyers all in their line-ups, Messi, Aguero, Higuain (pronounced Hig-y-een), etc. But the results aren't so great?

    Brazil, I am not so sure about. It seems like a long while since the days of Ronaldo and Kaka (on form) made them a force. The 2010 WC exit was very damaging for them I beleive, as was Argentinas QF exit.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    @53

    'is it me or is crowd size and behaviour just a really boring topic for a football blog.

    whats next, discussions around car parking and motorway travel to and from games?'

    No, next is more fruitless complaints against refreshing blogs? Sigh.

  • Comment number 63.

    Low crowds? Sick of hearing this line!! Maybe people just need to leave Rio and Sao Paulo and remember that Brazil is a huge country! The problem is that the fickle Southerners don't love their football as much as the North East... last Sunday in Recife 55,000 people watched a division 4 game at Arruda home to Santa Cruz... the day before in the same city over 30,000 people were watching Sport Recife in serie B... The North East will be home to 30% of the games in the World Cup...

  • Comment number 64.

    @62 Avonns

    Refreshing blog? Matter of opinion my friend... I for one do not find this sort of caper particularly interesting.

    However, I do understand that it may be interesting to some, just as stamp collecting or train spotting are also well supported activities.

    Prefer the blogs on the football (past or present), i.e. players or tactics, evolution of the game etc. Again just my preference.

  • Comment number 65.

    Some of the posters comments regarding match attendances, are really short sighted. Fans attendance at matches can highlight many issues it can be used as a barometer, for the state of the game in countries or as poster @63 pointed out, areas in countries.

    Football crowds obviously affects the atmosphere of games, I do believe when there is no live atmosphere it transfers to the players and often reduces the intensity of the game. I was at the Chelsea/Liverpool game and although a decent crowd the atmosphere was flat, the match was affected.

    It is all very well sitting in an armchair watching a game but if no one attended matches, total control of what was once, the peoples game, transfers to business interests. In many areas, it has happened already, TV creates massive income and affects good or bad, the finances of football. If total control of the actual game passed into the hands of TV and advertising, what happens on the pitch would change. Does anyone really want to see an Americanised game of stop/start football because of advertising, that could possibly happen.

    In the UK I have witnessed what can happen when people stop attending a sport. Less than 30 years ago greyhound racing was the second highest sport for attendance in the UK, people stopped going. The sport is on it's knees, over half the tracks have been lost and interest is no longer there but it does have TV.

    Football should never be just about the very top clubs and that is all the TV companies are interested in. Football dies at the lower levels if people do not attend, which in turn affects the game as a whole.

  • Comment number 66.

    @65 football in the North East of Brazil is alive and kicking the match day atmosphere is still energetic and edgy.. I've wrote an article about football in the North East... Santa Cruz have spent the last few seasons in seire D yet have often had crowds in excess of 40 or 50,000...

  • Comment number 67.

    Stan007
    @63 & 66

    Hi Stan, read your posts, do you believe it is more of a hot bed for football in the North East of the country compared to the south of the country? Also why do you believe it is that way?

    I can only relate to my own experiences, coming from London, then having lived in France many years [Monaco and Nice were my local clubs] and now back in the UK in the North West. All three have a different feel for football. Here in the North West it's a hot bed, compared to London. In the NW football is a universal language, almoost everybody speaks of it daily. I look at it is a form of identity here in the NW.

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    # 53, 64 - that's the beauty of a weekly football blog, it has a different topic every week. If you can grasp that concept, you would surely understand that sometimes the focus is more on players or tactics, and other times more on wider issues. The criticism is a bit short-sighted, as the blog does actually address those things you mention - possibly too subtle?

    Thankfully, this is not bland Premiership blog #101 - some of us might even learn something on this one. Reading how the latest internet "hindsight expert" would have set Chelsea up, following a poor result, is about as uninteresting a concept as I can possibly imagine!

  • Comment number 70.

    @ 38: I'm sorry, but I live in Brazil and I find the 10 pm kick offs absurd. That means games finishing around midnight, allowing for injury time and delays, and much later if the match goes into extra time. Then the spectators have to find their way home in the early hours of the morning, only to have to get up a few hours later to go to work. This has nothing to do with the British drinking hours, but your comments do reflect the 'instant gratification' expectations I mentioned earlier. Bear in mind that supplying you with a drink at any hour you please means keeping an establishment open and staff on duty indefinitely, on the off chance you might turn up. It's all a matter of supply and demand, and when I lived in London, if you knew where to go and were so inclined, you could drink around the clock if you wanted to. I admit that doesn't apply to many other places, which seem to close down altogether after 10pm. But in popular tourist centres I would have thought an exception could be made.
    @ 46: you raise an interesting point and I think that the Brazilian population nowadays, in the light of the attitudes I mentioned at 36, would be delighted if they won the cup, by whatever means (though they moan a bit about the lack of style), whereas if they play beautiful football and get eliminated we will never hear the end of it. Sadly, that appears to be the way of the world nowadays. Most people seem to have forgotten how to appreciate good football and show appreciation of it even when it isn't 'their' team. It's this mentality of winning at any cost that spawns cheating and cynicism. If we want to see the return of the beautiful game, we have to put that at the top of our priorities.
    @ 53 & 55: you might find your own interest only extends to the gossip columns about who is rumoured to be transferred where, but these are issues that are fundamental to the game you profess to enjoy. And no-one is obliging you to read it and take precious time to comment on it, are they?
    @ 57: I find myself divided over your comments, not because of the content but because of the language. On the one hand, it's great that you should participate and yet, since this is ostensibly an English language blog, most of the other participants will be unable to share your ideas due to the language barrier. My suggestion would be for you to pass your Portuguese text through the Google translator into English before submitting it. As a machine translation software, the quality won't be perfect, but it won't be any worse than some of the other contributions I have seen, but the important thing is to communicate and in this way others will be able to understand and respond to what you are saying. Much better that than giving up participating because of a language barrier!
    @ 58 & 59: :o)
    @ 63: while you cite the attendance at the big local derby, and these are well attended in the south and SE too, I do take your point that fans in other parts of the country are both more enthusiastic and less cynical about the game. You may be its salvation!
    @ 65: well said!

  • Comment number 71.

    I agree that sometimes the supporters are a bit overly critical of their teams in Brazil. But this is by no means only a Brazilian thing of course. In Italy it happens quite often for instance. More troubling in Brazil this year was that such criticism spilled over onto the streets. I was very sad, as a Palmeiras fan, when about 15 of our own "supporters" (read thugs) attacked the midfielder João Vítor outside Palestra.

    As for the the crowds. It is not fun to see half full stadiums. But having full stadiums every game of the season is not something common in most countries. I think there are many reasons for this; money, traffic, great tv-coverage, lack of time, too big stadiums, poor stadiums, fear of violence and so on.

  • Comment number 72.

    Thanks for a nice blog by the way! One of few I try to follow regularly.

  • Comment number 73.

    We have been on holiday in Rio for the last week and attended this game, to criticise the Brazilian fans is a bit harsh, I've seen many a fan turn on their team when the result wasn't going their way, agreed the attendance wasn't good but every fan there cheered their hardest for at least an hour before the team had even thought about walking onto the pitch! Far more fans than I've seen inside a ground an hour before a championship or premiership game. Also from my experience i think that english clubs could learn a lot from Brazil, they provide fans with the simplest of items to cheer on their teams, but although simple they are effective.

  • Comment number 74.

    Interesting blog. Let me offer my twopennethworth...
    Given that I'm living in Brazil & in a host city, football & World Cup 2014 are both interesting subject for me. Before I get into details, can I suggest we need to be careful talking about the pundits slating the national team...think Ian Wright, think of fans burning ephagies of beckham. We are guilty of allowing of press & pundits too much influence in the national team. And we let them build us up in the run up to competitions making us think we stand a chance. Sorry if I'm being too clear with my words.
    To the points about stadia being half full when watching on TV, bear in mind the size and scale of this country. You can fly for over 5 hours without leaving Brazilian airpsace. How long is the furthest distance between between Premier league clubs....? How many people fly? Exactly. Whilst on the point of flying, imagine a game starting at 10pm. Half time is 45 mins +2 mins injury time = 10.47 half time. 15 minutes turnaround + 45 mins +3 mins injury time = full time at 11.50. Then try getting out of the stadium, to an airport, find a flight....you get my point! Another thing to bear in mind is that Brazil, whilst becoming an economic powershouse, is still blighted by poverty. And it is the lower classes that are the lions share of the population & it is this group that attend football....
    Ultimately, the games I've been too I've not seen the constant willingness to boo or curse the local teams. Far from it. I've experienced 15,000 people in a two tier stand jumping up and down, left and right, singing their hearts out, cheering for their beloved team to hold their oposition, to improve their game or to fire 2 or 3 more net busting vollies.
    The thing with Brazil is that they are passionate people cheering. Whilst they have 5 world cups & the rest of the world is chasing, they have demons they need to address from the last time the world cup was here in 1950. Brazilian football is Samba in sporting terms. But lets not forget England's performances in recent tournaments. The country has been behind them. England expects. It is the same here. Brazil expects. Actually, I'd go one stage further. Brazil demands....in the early years of the world cup, they won on a regular basis, whereas in recent times the frequency has dropped. The country believes it is time the team pulled finger!

  • Comment number 75.

    There is a difference in the North of the country - I´ve discussed this in one of my articles - not sure I can advertise it on here - search Brazilian football on facebook or sambafoot...

    The game that drew 55,000 fans in Recife wasn´t a local derby... it was a home game for Santa Cruz in division 4 against a very small club... Some of the comments on here suggest that Brazil and football in Brazil ends when you live Rio or Sao Paulo!!!!

  • Comment number 76.

    is it me or is crowd size and behaviour just a really boring topic for a football blog.

    whats next, discussions around car parking and motorway travel to and from games?

    I heard that on the main road to Estádio do Pacaembu, just before junction 13, there is a belting little chef.

    -------------------------

    Good enough to hold a wedding reception there?

  • Comment number 77.

    @50 - Also Spain have now actually started to have matched televised at around 12pm on a Sunday now in a bid to attract TV audiences in Asia.

    But I think reetspetit still hasn't grasped the concept that Brazil isn't in the Mediterranean.

  • Comment number 78.

    Aarfy_Aardvark-save606
    @76

    is it me or is crowd size and behaviour just a really boring topic for a football blog.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    No it is you, quite often, what happens off the pitch has far greater significance than on the pitch.

    Once you start to lose the attendance at matches, then clubs have a problem. The fan base becomes isolated from the club, TV already dictates the timing of matches. Give TV total control and whatever they deem fit, will be applied and this would happen if fans did not go to matches.

    I accept football has to sell itself to grow or even survive but lets hope that it does not sell all of its appeal.

    Blogs such as Tim's latest offering have a serious side, make of it what you will but it is not boring or pointless.

  • Comment number 79.

    The fair-weather fan is the equivalent to poor sportsmanship, bad losers.

  • Comment number 80.

    maybe the reason there are better attendances in the northeast of Brazil is that fans there EXPECT LESS from their teams.

    there are too many clubs in Brazil whose fans consider as "big teams". For any of these fans, they expect nothing less than a championship title by the end of the season.

    When that doesnt happen, and its quite obvious you cant have 12-14 winners, fans get angered at their teams.

    I suppose in other countries, fans dont consider their own clubs to be so great. Unless your club is one of the 2-3 title contenders every year. In Brazil, there are many more title contenders each year, as well as relegation contenders, and you NEVER KNOW who will do well or not.

    Same with northeast Brazilian clubs.

    There is another factor for the good attendances in the northeast. Quite lower ticket prices.

    Southern Brazil probably has some of the highest ticket price/average salary ratios in the world.

    Add to the astronomical ticket prices the fact public transport to stadiums is bad, gasoline is expensive, and current stadiums suck, and you get low attendances quite explained.

    U$38 is the minimum price to watch a match at Grêmio stadium... in the terraces section. Minimum wage at Rio Grande do Sul state is only about 10 times the price of the cheapest ticket.


    US has full attendances? Well, whats the ratio of cheapest ticket prices vs minimum monthly salary in the US?

  • Comment number 81.

    I do believe that attendances makes a game more enjoyable. I am french and have been working in Monaco for few years, attending all home games for 2 consecutive seasons in 2002/03 and 03/04. 5000 fans on a 5000 seater stadium is grand, but in 20000 ... you can hear the players talking to each other.... I can't imagine in a 40000, u must be afraid to answer your phone in case people eardrop on you from the opposite stand! And I must agree that now that I leave in Ireland, it's much better to watch midweek game starting at 19.45. U get the game + highlight of all the other champion's league matches for ex. and you are in bed before 11 ! Cause unless you are on the welfare, u must hit the ground at 6.30 the morning after, late kickoff is a nonsense!
    For those of you that don't like the article, then don't bloody read it ! People go to some length of annoyance just to complain !!! I wouldn't sit for 3 hours watching a opera, just so I could slate it afterwards .... I always find very enjoyable to hear about a different footballing culture than the one our normal TV package shows!

  • Comment number 82.

    @69

    Dont agree but nevermind, not the end of the world.

    Obviously this blog means something to you as evidenced by your post. Probably something to admire in that.

  • Comment number 83.

    Every country fans want their nation to win the world cup, every fan has expectation, specially when you have won it before, it's in human nature. They'd tell you a 1/4 final would be great, but they would be lying of course. But there's only one winner, and if you are not the best, u won't succeed. (Actually, sorry scratch that, Italy was not the best and they won it in 2006). Brazil is nowhere near good enough to win it right now.

  • Comment number 84.

    Hi Tim,
    Whilst i agree you raise some very goo dpoints about the turn out of supporters on stadiums as well as what the press says, I must point out that I was surprised when 12 years ago i made the exact opposite move as you. In other words, i moved from Brasil to Britain (I live in London since 12 years ago and since then am a Chelsea Supporter as well as a Santos FC one).
    The reason of this is how the supporters and press is NOT different between Brasil and UK.
    Only one thing: with all respect, I find the brazilian press much more knowledgeable than the british one when commeting between this or that player, manager, etc. (maybe because most of them are actually either ex-footballers or journalists that have been for ages on the trade).
    Some more recent facts in the Ebglish Premier League which back my opinion or at least make you think about:
    1) Gary Megson's tenure @ Bolton (not matter what he did, the supporters always gave him the stick and abused him);
    2) Kean's actual tenure @ Blackburn Rovers;
    3) Torres torrential abuse received form the press and supporters after moving to Chelsea (before a recent suspension, after "clicking" with Mata, he was scoring almost a goal per game and still got stick from all the press);
    4) The constant protests against the Glazier family (I know they bought Manchester United on loans but you cannot disguise disbelief at how well the club is still run at a point to be able to service the debt and still show a profit. How many big companies in the world are owned this way nowadays?)
    5) the persistent gossip about this or that player moving until he "suddenly" renews his contract (e.g. Fellaini for Everton);
    6) the constant persecution of players and managers outside of the pitch only in search of gossip (Terry and Beckham have made front and back pages in newspapers here often);
    7) the Torrential abuse that Mike Ashley gets at Newcastle despite the club "languishing2 in 4th position on the Premiership without substantial debts;
    8) the sickening Munich Chants that Liverpool supporters pelter at Manchester United Supporters;
    9) Westham x Millwall (do I need to say more?);
    10) The sickening racist banter that you still can hear at stadiums (believe me - they still happen);
    11) the belatedly biased comments from the press here or their ability to talk as experts when any supporter with good internet connection nowadays can see that is blah blah blah... (Adrian from talk Sport is dire but not the only one...);
    12) the amount of corporate tickets you have on the EPL (not all

  • Comment number 85.

    Hi Tim,
    Whilst i agree you raise some very good points about the turn-out of supporters on stadiums as well as what the press says, I must point out that I was surprised when 12 years ago i made the exact opposite move as you. In other words, i moved from Brasil to Britain (I live in London since 12 years ago and since then am a Chelsea Supporter as well as a Santos FC one).
    The reason of this is how the supporters and press is NOT different between Brasil and UK.
    Only one thing: with all respect, I find the Brazilian press much more knowledgeable than the British one when commenting between this or that player, manager, etc. (maybe because most of them are actually either ex-footballers or journalists that have been for ages on the trade).
    Some more recent facts in the English Premier League which back my opinion or at least make you think about:
    1) Gary Megson's tenure @ Bolton (not matter what he did, the supporters always gave him the stick and abused him);
    2) Kean's actual tenure @ Blackburn Rovers;
    3) Torres torrential abuse received form the press and supporters after moving to Chelsea (before a recent suspension, after "clicking" with Mata, he was scoring almost a goal per game and still got stick from all the press);
    4) The constant protests against the Glazier family (I know they bought Manchester United on loans but you cannot disguise disbelief at how well the club is still run at a point to be able to service the debt and still show a profit. How many big companies in the world are owned this way nowadays?)
    5) the persistent gossip about this or that player moving until he "suddenly" renews his contract (e.g. Fellaini for Everton);
    6) the constant persecution of players and managers outside of the pitch only in search of gossip (Terry and Beckham have made front and back pages in newspapers here often);
    7) the Torrential abuse that Mike Ashley gets at Newcastle despite the club "languishing2 in 4th position on the Premiership without substantial debts;
    8) the sickening Munich Chants that Liverpool supporters pelter at Manchester United Supporters;
    9) Westham x Millwall (do I need to say more?);
    10) The sickening racist banter that you still can hear at stadiums (believe me - they still happen);
    11) the belatedly biased comments from the press here or their ability to talk as experts when any supporter with good internet connection nowadays can see that is blah blah blah... (Adrian from Talk Sport is dire but not the only one...);
    12) the amount of corporate tickets you have on the EPL (not all%

  • Comment number 86.

    Hi Tim,
    Whilst i agree you raise some very good points about the turn-out of supporters on stadiums as well as what the press says, I must point out that I was surprised when 12 years ago i made the exact opposite move as you. In other words, i moved from Brasil to Britain (I live in London since 12 years ago and since then am a Chelsea Supporter as well as a Santos FC one).
    The reason of this is how the supporters and press is NOT different between Brasil and UK.
    Only one thing: with all respect, I find the Brazilian press much more knowledgeable than the British one when commenting between this or that player, manager, etc. (maybe because most of them are actually either ex-footballers or journalists that have been for ages on the trade).
    Some more recent facts in the English Premier League which back my opinion or at least make you think about:
    1) Gary Megson's tenure @ Bolton (not matter what he did, the supporters always gave him the stick and abused him);
    2) Kean's actual tenure @ Blackburn Rovers;
    3) Torres torrential abuse received form the press and supporters after moving to Chelsea (before a recent suspension, after "clicking" with Mata, he was scoring almost a goal per game and still got stick from all the press);
    4) The constant protests against the Glazier family (I know they bought Manchester United on loans but you cannot disguise disbelief at how well the club is still run at a point to be able to service the debt and still show a profit. How many big companies in the world are owned this way nowadays?)
    5) the persistent gossip about this or that player moving until he "suddenly" renews his contract (e.g. Fellaini for Everton);
    6) the constant persecution of players and managers outside of the pitch only in search of gossip (Terry and Beckham have made front and back pages in newspapers here often);
    7) the Torrential abuse that Mike Ashley gets at Newcastle despite the club "languishing2 in 4th position on the Premiership without substantial debts;
    8) the sickening Munich Chants that Liverpool supporters pelter at Manchester United Supporters;
    9) Westham x Millwall (do I need to say more?);
    10) The sickening racist banter that you still can hear at stadiums (believe me - they still happen);
    11) the belatedly biased comments from the press here or their ability to talk as experts when any supporter with good internet connection nowadays can see that is blah blah blah... (Adrian from Talk Sport is dire but not the only one...);
    12) the amount of corporate tickets you have on the EPL (not all the peop

  • Comment number 87.

    Hi Tim,
    Whilst i agree you raise some very good points about the turn-out of supporters on stadiums as well as what the press says, I must point out that I was surprised when 12 years ago i made the exact opposite move as you. In other words, i moved from Brasil to Britain (I live in London since 12 years ago and since then am a Chelsea Supporter as well as a Santos FC one).
    The reason of this is how the supporters and press is NOT different between Brasil and UK.
    Only one thing: with all respect, I find the Brazilian press much more knowledgeable than the British one when commenting between this or that player, manager, etc. (maybe because most of them are actually either ex-footballers or journalists that have been for ages on the trade).
    Some more recent facts in the English Premier League which back my opinion or at least make you think about:
    1) Gary Megson's tenure @ Bolton (not matter what he did, the supporters always gave him the stick and abused him);
    2) Kean's actual tenure @ Blackburn Rovers;
    3) Torres torrential abuse received form the press and supporters after moving to Chelsea (before a recent suspension, after "clicking" with Mata, he was scoring almost a goal per game and still got stick from all the press);
    4) The constant protests against the Glazier family (I know they bought Manchester United on loans but you cannot disguise disbelief at how well the club is still run at a point to be able to service the debt and still show a profit. How many big companies in the world are owned this way nowadays?)
    5) the persistent gossip about this or that player moving until he "suddenly" renews his contract (e.g. Fellaini for Everton);
    6) the constant persecution of players and managers outside of the pitch only in search of gossip (Terry and Beckham have made front and back pages in newspapers here often);
    7) the Torrential abuse that Mike Ashley gets at Newcastle despite the club "languishing2 in 4th position on the Premiership without substantial debts;
    8) the sickening Munich Chants that Liverpool supporters pelter at Manchester United Supporters;
    9) Westham x Millwall (do I need to say more?);
    10) The sickening racist banter that you still can hear at stadiums (believe me - they still happen);
    11) the belatedly biased comments from the press here or their ability to talk as experts when any supporter with good internet connection nowadays can see that is blah blah blah... (Adrian from Talk Sport is dire but not the only one...);
    12) the amount of corporate tickets you have on the EPL (not all the people

  • Comment number 88.

    Hi Tim,
    Whilst i agree you raise some very good points about the turn-out of supporters on stadiums as well as what the press says, I must point out that I was surprised when 12 years ago i made the exact opposite move as you. In other words, i moved from Brasil to Britain (I live in London since 12 years ago and since then am a Chelsea Supporter as well as a Santos FC one).
    The reason of this is how the supporters and press is NOT different between Brasil and UK.
    Only one thing: with all respect, I find the Brazilian press much more knowledgeable than the British one when commenting between this or that player, manager, etc. (maybe because most of them are actually either ex-footballers or journalists that have been for ages on the trade).
    Some more recent facts in the English Premier League which back my opinion or at least make you think about:
    1) Gary Megson's tenure @ Bolton (not matter what he did, the supporters always gave him the stick and abused him);
    2) Kean's actual tenure @ Blackburn Rovers;
    3) Torres torrential abuse received form the press and supporters after moving to Chelsea (before a recent suspension, after "clicking" with Mata, he was scoring almost a goal per game and still got stick from all the press);
    4) The constant protests against the Glazier family (I know they bought Manchester United on loans but you cannot disguise disbelief at how well the club is still run at a point to be able to service the debt and still show a profit. How many big companies in the world are owned this way nowadays?)
    5) the persistent gossip about this or that player moving until he "suddenly" renews his contract (e.g. Fellaini for Everton);
    6) the constant persecution of players and managers outside of the pitch only in search of gossip (Terry and Beckham have made front and back pages in newspapers here often);
    7) the Torrential abuse that Mike Ashley gets at Newcastle despite the club "languishing2 in 4th position on the Premiership without substantial debts;
    8) the sickening Munich Chants that Liverpool supporters pelter at Manchester United Supporters;
    9) Westham x Millwall (do I need to say more?);
    10) The sickening racist banter that you still can hear at stadiums (believe me - they still happen);
    11) the belatedly biased comments from the press here or their ability to talk as experts when any supporter with good internet connection nowadays can see that is blah blah blah... (Adrian from Talk Sport is dire but not the only one...);
    12) the amount of corporate tickets you have on the EPL (not all the pe

  • Comment number 89.

    Hey Tim, good article but...

    "With his wild hair, Cortes has the air of a showman"?????

    They are called dreadlocks. I dont think locks are accepted as wild hair. Maybe in the past.

    Amandio

  • Comment number 90.

    Londoner in exile

    I think your post aimed at Aarfy Aardvark was misdirected, it should have been aimed at averageBBC_journalist or clippo.

    averageBBC_journalist, your user name is quite apt really. If you have no interest in the blog, then nobody is forcing you to read it, if indeed you did read it in it's entirety.

    Maybe you should stick to average BBC journalists whose blogs often appear to be based on pure conjecture and whose boards almost always descend into slanging matches between different premiere league club fans.

    Luiz_from_Curitiba, thanks for your insightful posts on FIFA attemps to rewrite the Brazilian constitution in the interests of accommodating big business and implementing unfair ticket pricing.

  • Comment number 91.

    Cashforhonours @90

    The point is, that none of Tim's blogs are ever boring. An individual may not find the blog to their taste but there is no need for them to continually come on calling it boring.

    It is one dimensional, to be forever expecting a certain type of blog on football to be just about players or teams.

  • Comment number 92.

    Jomar777
    @88

    You basically highlighted a point I made earlier between areas in a country, most of the issues you wrote of concern fans from the north of England, they are totally different to the vast majority of southerners. Certainly on a daily basis, in the north, football is never far from the mind and converstation.

    Born and bred in London [Brentfords my club and will be, till the day I die] lived in France for years and now back in the NW of England. I was at Brentford {atmosphere was great] on saturday and Chelsea for the game on sunday, the atmosphere was awful at the Bridge. Before the revolution at Chelsea I stood many times in the 'shed end' when there was less than 15,000 in the ground. Those 15,000 rarely moaned or slated the team even though the standard of play was awful.

    It may be, that many fans live in an X Factor era, demanding instant success, entertainment seems to be secondary for them, they just want to be winners. That is not what real football is soley about.

    The blog highlights issues off the pitch but like many current fans, they are only interested in the winners on the pitch. Football is so much more than that.

  • Comment number 93.

    Tim, your article is good, but I think you've commited a capital mistake here. Trying to use Botafogo and specially Botafogo supporters to generalize something in Brazilian football is never a smart act.

    Everybody knows how single a club Botafogo is in Brazil and also how badly their supporters can turn their backs on their own team. Having lived in Brazil you must know they suffer with the ''complexo de botafoguense'' and also how stupid they are when you mock them about that certain things that just happen to Botafogo - they agree and laugh.

    People in Rio have started, I don't know, since the last century to put pressure on them to be as big as they were in the 50's-70's and they've really became nervous about their team becoming the new Bangu or America. That's why they are so ridiculous. Everytime they see Botafogo in the top - as it's been happening time and time again in the beginning of the championships - they know at some point of the season they will eventually collapse. So, when that effectively happen, they are masters on turning their backs on their own team and saying ''Eu já sabia!".

    Having been considered the 6th unluckiest team on Earth, they are just a bunch of distrustful supporters. You know they love their team, but they simply don't make it as a great ''torcida''...

  • Comment number 94.

    Tim, I think the number and quality of comments reflects the range of interesting topics you cover. Kudos to BLRBrazil, you could use him as a stand-in if you need a week off. :-)

    BLRB, you wrote: "And this brings us onto a wider issue. Nowadays, so many people expect instant gratification, and don't seem to feel they have to do anything to get it, nor that it should be based on realistic possibilities either." That seems to be a world-wide phemonenon, being at the top end of the age range for this blog, I grew up in a world where people understood that what they got out of life depended on what they put in. It's still true, but less often recognised, in many countries I think because of the increasing role of, and dependence on, the state, which stifles individual initiative and responsibility. Great that we can discuss such things on a football blog, rather than, e.g., the longevity of manager X.

 

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