Flamengo vs Real Potosí (yes its waayy overdue)

So about a month ago…….haha.

Yes I should’ve written this the day after it occurred, but I was more focused on finishing my Portuguese course and moving to Fortaleza (different blog post soon, and I promise very soon, to follow).

On Wednesday, February 1, we had our final written exam, for which I was a good student and actually put quite a few hours into studying. The test wasn’t that bad, but I did think it was more difficult than our first exam (mainly because my teachers didn’t give me the opportunity to create an exciting adventurous story). Our huge oral exam was the next day. Did we study for it? Nope! We figured that if we don’t the language well enough to speak with some fluency then one night of scrambled practice wasn’t going to do us much good. So we bought tickets to a REAL football game: Flamengo vs. Real Potosí. The game was the second leg of these two teams meeting in the Copa Libertadores.

The first big hurdle was figuring out how to get to and from the stadium. The game started at 10pm and was quite a distance from the general area in which we all lived. According to Google maps, the easiest way was to take the SuperVia from Central Station to the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange (aka Engenhão). The SuperVia is an extension of the Metro, but it’s a train above ground, which we had never experimented with in Rio. A couple people in our program warned us not to take it since they had heard from other people that foreigners tend to be robbed on the SuperVia. We decided to brave the odds and just not carry purses, backpacks, etc. I met up with Magdalena, a German student who lived in the same neighborhood, and together we made it to Engenhão after a little travel drama and miscommunication with the rest of the group. Once we got to the Central station, our plan was simple: follow the huge mass of people wearing red and black striped jerseys that almost all said “Ronaldinho” with a giant #10 on the back. Simple and easy. We arrived at the Engenhão at 8pm and waited for the rest of the group to arrive by taxi:

Estádio Olímpico João Havelange

Flamengo jerseys!








The atmosphere inside the stadium was absolutely incredible. Our tickets allowed us to sit in the lower level on the east side. The party seats were apparently in the upper level on the east side. It seriously sounded like they had a Carnaval parade going on for about 3 hours straight. They had drums, trumpets, ginormous flags, the works. It was ridiculous. There were a series of chants and songs the crowd kept singing. I tried learning the words to some of them; the only words I know for certain are “vai começar a festa!” aka “the party’s gonna start!” I ended up just laughing because the excitement and energy was so contagious. I was so surprised when the referees walked on the field and automatically the crowd around us started booing and jeering. Then the teams walked out and the crowd went wild! Especially when Ronaldinho walked out:

Flamengo vs Real Potosí

#10 Ronaldinho








This past fall semester I started following international football a bit more closely than I had prior to finding out I was about to spend six months in Brazil. It seemed appropriate. As a result, I am now absolutely obsessed with football, hands down. Going to the Flamengo game was a whole new experience and I’m sold for life as a football fan. The total number of people in the stadium was over 36,000. That’s more than live in Oxford, Mississippi. And that was a small, rather insignificant game… I can’t even image what it would be like to attend a rivalry game with 90,000 fans!

Flamengo won the game 2-0 which advanced them to the next round of the Copa Libertadores. Needless to say, the fans were pleased. When the refs walked off the pitch, I saw guys in the stand trying to hand them money and cheering for the men they had booed 2 hours earlier. Ridiculous but hilarious. The fans poured out of the Engenhão still singing and dancing. It really was one of the best experiences I had in Rio. It would take a massive sporting event in the States to rival the mood and energy generated by that small encounter between the Brazilians and Bolivians. I can’t wait to go to another game! Hopefully, in two years, I’ll be able to come back to Rio and experience a 90,000+ crowd in the completed Maracanã for the 2014 World Cup!


~ by dfsg1991 on February 28, 2012.

2 Responses to “Flamengo vs Real Potosí (yes its waayy overdue)”

  1. Graças a Deus, eu finalmente encontrei seus Tweets. Eu esperei tanto tempo para ouvir notícias, que você estão bem em Fortaleza. Tivemos o primeiro dia na PUC hoje. Foi muito legal. Espero ouvir notícias de você em breve. Beijos, Leni

    • Eu acabei de perceber que é vocé! Sinto sua falta muito! Como foram suas aulas? Lara e eu completamos nossa primeira semana das aulas aqui em UFC e elas são muito legal! Não há muitos estudantes do intercambio aqui, mas é melhor porque temos que falar em português o todo tempo. Abraços!

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