May 28, 2016
Undoubtedly, soccer or football, as it is called everywhere except the United States, is a big thing in Brazil. Brazil’s national team has the most World Cup titles, 5 in total, and the home country of Pele, arguably one of the best players of all time. Our Global Gateway trip would not be complete if we didn’t go see a Brazilian football match. Vasco versus Bahia was a great match and a great cultural experience. Entering the stadium was very exciting. It was not my first time entering a football stadium. I have seen a couple matches in Chicago and also in Mexico. This stadium was definitely different than any other I have been to. As we sat on the Vasco supporters side, out in the distance you can see Christ the redeemer and the amazing view of the mountains. The stadium was probably 80 to 90 percent full but most of the attendance was for Vasco.
The game began and the stadium filled with roaring chants. Never had I experienced a crowd that was so dedicated to the chants. Being on the Vasco side, everyone, from parents to children, were chanting to Vasco. It was so contagious and electrifying that you became attached to the chants. Most of us stood up and joined the crowed. It was not long before Vasco was up by 1 and the crowd went nuts. Shortly after, the second goal and again the chants seemed to get stronger.
At half time, I was expecting Vasco to continue to score more goals because Bahia was not responding. I was very wrong. Soon after the second half started, Bahia scored. It was very interesting because no one seemed to care. Vasco supporters kept chanting and you would not have noticed if someone didn’t clarify that it was a goal. Shortly after Bahia scored again and tied the game. It shocked everyone. One Vasco supported behind us was furious with his team. Despite this, the Vasco supporters kept chanting. It was not long when Vasco was up again. Vasco supporters went crazy and the chants grew so loud at this point and everyone was on their feet.
As a neutral supporter going in, by the time the score was 3 – 2, I was biting my nails. This only occurs when I am watching a really good game. At the end, Vasco won 4 – 2 and the chants did not stop until the very end. There was not one moment when the chants from Vasco supporters stopped. It just goes to show how loyal and determined Vasco fans wanted their team to win.
I learned a lot from this football match. Brazilians definitely take their football seriously and they are very passionate about the game. The chants represented the loyalty and support that the fans have for their teams. It was not just men chanting, but there were entire families there supporting their teams. It goes to show that football is something that is introduced to children at a very young age in Brazil and families value it.