Trip Start Sep 02, 2008
30Trip End Dec 14, 2008
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The natives were restless and ready to get on the backs of players who most resent for the money they earn in Europe...I had to remind myself that I was really watching a Brazil side that contained 3 Manchester City players!!! Sure enough Robinho was rubbish, falling over himself trying to stepovers and hilariously he got booed off when feigning injury. The only highlight was Kaka, but again the away team seemed the brightest and by the end of the game the home fans were ole-ing the Colombians and were busy abusing their own players and particularly the manager - nice to see the Brazilians have a similar approach to supporting their national team as England.
True to form I'd forgotten by obligatory bet on a 0-0 draw and predictably there were no goals, as a result the atmosphere which was fantastic before kick-off never really took off. I got my chance though to go back to the ground for a Rio derby, Flamengo v. Vasco de Gama and it seems the real atmosphere is saved for the club games.
Flamengo (the Man U of Brazilian football) were playing Vasco (probably the Spurs given their spot at the bottom of the league) who I was supporting thanks to their Palace like sash. Having remembered to put a bet on 0-0 this time I was guaranteed a goal, which duly arrived just before half-time. The fans went mental...much flag waving and flares being set-off and given this was the only goal of the game the best of the atmosphere was saved for the end where we couldn't see anything but smoke from the flares...
lots of singing aswell...
So 2 games, 1 goal - not too much different from watching the Phoenix..and I'm not sure the standard of football is much better than the A-League..but the atmosphere was definitely a winner!