A Carioca in the SoccerBlog!
Hi, I'm Euler and I was very glad to be invited to blog here at the SoccerBlog. I was writing for Brazil at the great WorldCupBlog and after the Brazilian failure I took myself on a little vacation to drown my sorrows in Arraial do Cabo’s amazing beaches. Now my mind is clear again and I hope to bring interesting issues from Brazil to this blog.
I am a Carioca (born in the city of Rio de Janeiro - Brazil) and I love to live in this city. We have beaches, caipirinhas, sunny days and very beautiful women everywhere. Last year I was playing soccer (aka football) on a weekly basis as a defender but I scored some goals too. Very amateur level, of course.
This year Brazil lost the World Cup. I say ‘lost’ because we had it since 2002, of course. Other nations will say ‘we didn’t win’ but we Brazilians really had to give away the trophy. We got a little spoiled after being in the final match for so long (1994-2002). This year our ‘European superstars’ didn’t dedicate themselves as much as any Brazilian would expect. They completely forgot how it is like to live here in a country so full of social problems. Most of those guys grew up in poor neighborhoods where the only moments of joy are felt when your local team wins and mainly when Brazil wins. That is our identity in the planet: carnival and soccer. The beautiful game is our representative to the world, so when you wear that canary jersey you better know that you are carrying our whole nation on your shoulders.
Of course we have Olympic medals too. Our volley team is the best in the world and that’s great, but we don’t care that much about the Olympic Games. We breathe soccer! By the way, my local team Flamengo is going to play the Copa do Brasil final against archrival Vasco next Wednesdays (19 and 26). The winner of this fast tournament is automatically granted into the Copa Libertadores da América (the south-American interclub championship). Flamengo only won this championship once, unfortunately. In recent years all our best players are sold to European teams before they can win titles around here but we are always hopeful to win outside Brazil too.
Here is an example of what I just said, an old article in the Economist site:
“Flamengo hired Claudio Zohar, a young businessman, to come up with a new strategy. Mr Zohar explains that he aims to get Flamengo back to the point where it can hold on to its best players — people like Zico, the star of the Brazilian team of the 1980s who played for Flamengo for over a decade. That would never happen now, but Mr Zohar reckons that hanging on to your top players is a crucial part of building up your brand.”
The article is from 2002… until now it’s not happening. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!