If one thing is certain, it is the craze of the Brazilians about football. Not only that they hit the Penta, the completion of five world championships, Brazilians dance with the Ball as if they would draw calligraphy on porcelain. So it was about time to see them doing their thing. Best Spot to witness some good sport is the Morumbi stadium of SPFC, São Paulo Futebol Clube.
The stadium of the greatest Paulista football club has actually the official name Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo, after the chairman of the club in the 50ies. Once it could take up to 140.000 spectators. Such an incredible amount, which was only once truly met 1977 as 138.000 fans watched a Corinthians game, the big competitor of SPFC. And there we learn already something about the uniqueness of the Brazilian System.
Various clubs from one city share a stadium, quite socialistic in a way. And ridiculous on the other hand, because if you are fan of one team you hate the other club like hell. Literally! True fans put the emblem of their team onto their grave-stone! After a renovation in the nineties the capacity was cut down to 80.000, but still, if the stadium is not crowded it could look quite lonesome. But even on a rainy day and with a boring match at hand – oh yes – it is exciting to go to Morumbi. We went to a match of Palmeiras against São Paulo FC, in the Paulista Championship, which runs sidelined to the national championship. The stadium was not that crowded, and my friend Bru told me some interesting story. Most likely the stadium will rather be full in the beginning of the month, when the workers just received their wage then in the end of the month, when most of it is almost spent. Quite interesting – it’s all about the benjamins after all. On the field it is striking, that compared to the European clubs, the tactical discipline is gone. Before the first whistle you have hundreds of people on the green. Doing interviews, eating, drinking and picking their noses. After the start it kind of looks the same.
There is no real structure, just everybody is chasing the ball. Which is very entertaining to watch. Too bad for us, that the first goal was scored in first five minutes into the game. It remained the only one. The excitement happens anyway in the stands. People cheering and praying, vendors walking through the seats selling rain capes, snacks or beverages. Those vendors were really interesting and had everything handy. And hence it was raining cats and dogs that day they really sold a lot of the capes. The infrastructure around the stadium is quite poor, because municipality and club probably just spend as much money on stones as needed. Therefore it looks wild before you enter the stadium, crowds gather, countless parking lots earn their reais for guaranteeing the safety of your vehicle. But maybe going to a football match is a great metaphor for the country itself.
The natural resources, the sun and the cheerfulness of the people make up for the rawness of their concrete cities and the poverty. In fact they make forget about it. After the match boys hit giant drums and girls were dancing Samba at the bottom of Morumbi. Every win is another good reason to start a little carneval, and losing is even more a reason. I think going to the stadium is quite a family thing, like going to church. You find the stadium in the south-west corner of São Paulo. There are probably a “magicbus” going to the stadium, but going by car would be the fastest option. You can buy tickets in the fast food chain Habib’s, which is one of the sponsors of SPFC.