Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

In part I of the interview with Cesar Greco, Palmeiras’ official photographer, we learnt about his early steps as a professional and how a typical week at Palmeiras might look like. In this second and last part, he tells us a bit more about the challenges and peculiarities of his profession, what gear he uses, and brings out some extra memorable moments from his days at Palmeiras.

VitÛria da Conquista x Palmeiras

Prass and Jackson looking to clear the airspace against Vitória da Conquista during Palmeiras’ first game in the 2015 Brazil Cup campaign, Lomanto Juniro stadium, March 2015

Anything Palmeiras: Cesar, what would you say are the main challenges when shooting a game of football?

Cesar Greco: Each game is unique, and the challenges and variables are as unique as the game itself.  The structure of the stadium, lighting (day and night), climatic conditions, the organizers’ regulations, positioning in the field (always a battle to get best possible conditions to execute your work), speed of mobile Internet service… These and many other technical and physical aspect will influence the result. The photojournalist must be very flexible and prepared to find solutions to successfully cover a football game. And every game is a learning experience.

AP: During games, do you interact with supporters at all?

CG: I don’t. I focus on my tasks, seeking not to interfere in the action in any way.

Now, the opposite is not necessarily the case. I frequently get cussed at, even been spat at. Also by our own supporters [laughs]. It’s no secret our supporters aren’t particularly fond of the press. And supporters often don’t know I’m not only a palmeirense, but actually working for the club. I end up getting my share. One day, I’ll be famous and they’ll stop cursing at me [laughs].

Brincadeira especial

Prass toys around with a little girl, bearer of Down’s syndrome and dressed as a fairy, after a training session at the Football Academy, October 2015

AP: Are there additional challenges being a supporter and a professional at the same time?

CG: Believe you me! It’s not easy separating passion from profession. Still, I manage to do it, every time, even when we win titles. I’m there, on the pitch, up close with the action, the emotions, and I feel it all, but sort of put it on hold, concentrating on my duty to make this moment eternal through my pictures.

I end up celebrating long after everybody else. This last title of ours [2015 Brazil Cup, editor’s note] I kept shooting until two o’clock in the morning. I got home around 3 am, and from the balcony of my house, I worked on all the photos from the final game until eight in the morning. I celebrated alone, having a beer and gradually understanding that yes, we had won the championship.

07 - cesargreco_8261_1

The 2015 Brazil Cup triumph, December 2015

AP: What post-production techniques do you normally apply?

CG: Post-production in photojournalism is and should be a simple process: it’s not correct to substantially alter your pictures. I do minor adjustments to brightness, contrast, cropping and that’s it.

AP: What equipment do you use?

CG: I use Canon. I seek excellence in everything I do, and all my equipment is top-rated. Also because shooting sports events at this level requires the best equipment.

I use two camera bodies: a 1D X and a 1D Mark III. Two long lenses: a 400mm and a 300mm, both 2.8L, in addition to a 70-200mm and a16-35mm lens, these also 2.8L. A 580 EX flash with battery pack and a variety of other accessories. It is a very versatile kit. The cameras are fast and robust.

For post-production, I use a MacBook Pro with the best possible configuration, and Adobe’s “Lightroom” software for image editing.

08 - 20150131_cg_goaxsep_0579_41

Striker Leandro Pereira, now at Dutch Club Brugge, tests the forehead of Audax’s Camacho in the first round of the São Paulo championship, January 2015

AP: Any particularly episodes from your years at Palmeiras that spring to mind?

CG: There have been various, both funny and curious. Others more exciting and emotional, especially when I’ve seen up close Palmeiras winning a championship, like the Brazil Cups of 2012 and 2015.

I’d also highlight the farewell for [former Palmeiras goalkeeper] Marcos, especially due to all the affection he received from fans. I was thrilled when I saw one of my pictures of Marcos on the big screen at the Pacaembu – one of those pictures with his hands raised to the sky after having defended a penalty – after the whistle of the final game of his career.

It is a unique opportunity to follow and take part in the history of a club like Palmeiras, so full of sensational stories during more of a century. The photo books I’ve edited – the 2012 Brazil Cup, the book on São Marcos and now the soon-to-be-out 2015 Brazil Cup – help to keep history alive, as long as paper stands the test of time. This is priceless.

AP: Before we finish, give me two dreams you would like to fulfil as a professional; one linked to you current work at SEP, and a second one in a different context.

CG: As I couldn’t be there in 1951, I’d want to shoot Palmeiras becoming Libertadores Cup champion before going on to win the World Club championship. This will crown my parallel work of consolidating the photography department within Palmeiras, implementing some ideas I have.

The second dream is to win the World Press Photo award, the most prestigious award in photojournalism.

AP: Cesar, may your dreams be fulfilled! Thank you for allowing this interview to take place, congratulations, and keep up the magnificent work!

CG: I’m the one thanking you. It’s been a pleasure and I feel proud to feature in one of Anything Palmeiras’ articles!

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Yesterday, we were closer acquainted with a group of blind people and how they “see” Palmeiras. Today, you will get a glance at the man who further enhances our vision and etches Palmeiras into the realm of timelessness: Cesar Greco, the club’s official photographer. I hope you enjoy this first part of the interview, as well as, of course, his images – specially selected by Cesar himself from his 2015 batch.

— ooo —

Anything Palmeiras: Tell me a little bit about yourself, Cesar.

Cesar Greco: I come from a family of palmeirenses, an Italian family. My great-grandfather left Italy and the war that was ravaging his home country. He arrived in Brazil, became a Palestra supporter, and his club preference were passed on from generation to generation: my grandfather, my father, cousins, uncles and the whole family.

I believe I am, both privately and professionally, a team player, an observer and someone who is always willing to learn. Someone who invests in opportunities body and soul.

I am rather emotional and dreamy, but without abandoning reason and professionalism. That is how I see life and live life, especially in relation to Palmeiras.

Divino respeito

Legendary Palmeiras midfielder Ademir da Guia during event at the club’s training grounds, October 2015

AP: I was going to ask if you are a palmeirense, but…

CG: Haha, well yes, very, very palmeirense. Palmeiras is an intimate part of my life. I was born and raised in a palestrino setting. It was something natural, a heritage, something in your skin, in your veins, a love that not even I understand where it comes from but is there, in my heart. I am very proud to be palmeirense.

AP: Since when do you take pictures?

CG: I started in 1999, as an amateur and for fun. In fact, I say I started that year because it was when I bought my first reflex camera, but already as a child, I experimented with compact cameras, trying to obtain impossible images. It was an interest that came naturally. So natural, in fact, that I learned to photograph by myself.

Saudação alviverde

The parakeet, Palmeiras’ mascot, greets the stands at the Allianz Parque, blessed by a magnificant rainbow in January 2015

AP: How did your career develop?

CG: I graduated in journalism in 2003. Ever since my college days, I wanted to write and do photography jointly. In my early career, I worked for small weekly newspapers and Internet portals, writing and shooting, gathering plenty of experience.

I started doing local and regional football games, third and fourth division, then slowly approached the main competitions. In 2007, I started working for an agency, which gave me the opportunity to cover major events – both top division football and other sporting events. I had certain freedom to choose which events to cover and never hid the fact that I am a Palmeiras supporter. When in 2009 Palmeiras went out in search of an official photographer, their crosshairs rapidly locked on me. I use to say that because I am a palmeirense, and exclusively for being one of those passionate about this club, I work for Palmeiras.

Palmeiras x AvaÌ

Argentine forward Cristaldo commemorating a brace against Avaí FC, July 2015

AP: You work exclusively for Palmeiras, or do you also take up other work?

CG: I work exclusively for Palmeiras, from Sunday to Sunday. My work agenda is that of the team’s. All my time is dedicated for Palmeiras. Occasionally I can take on smaller assignments on the side, but only if Palmeiras’ agenda allows for it. Normally, I pass assignments on to other professionals.

However, when time permits, I try to develop my own stuff, keeping it ready for some time in the future.

AP: Cesar, describe a “normal” week for you at Palmeiras

CG: Well, if we take a week with two games, one at home and one away, it will be something like this:

I shoot the first training session of the week, Monday, for example. I will focus on players that might have given a press conference, the coach, looking for pictures to illustrate articles that will feature on the Palmeiras website. I also constantly look for nice photo ops for Palmeiras’ social media – instagram, facebook and twitter – or that could go into the club´s magazine, or even be used by the club in commercial settings.

Quebra dedos

Palmeiras forward Dudu accidentally knocks over Cruzeiro’s coach Vanderlei Luxenburgo, who breaks a finger in the fall, August 2015

The following day might be very busy, if we have an away game on the Wednesday. I shoot the training session, then scramble to edit the pictures and send them to the webmaster. I get on the plane with the team, always with a camera ready “from the hip” to capture anything that might interest. As we arrive at our destination, I capture the disembarking of the delegation, the interaction with local supporters, edit and send it to the webmaster.

On game day, I spend a day’s worth of energy in only a few hours, it’s very intense. I head for the stadium some four hours in advance, together with the crew that prepares the players’ uniforms and stuff. I organise my gear, get my credentials and wait for the arrival of the team. A do some images of the activities in the dressing room, edit, send it, then head for the pitch. A capture images of the game, edit and send a first batch during halftime. Same procedure after the final whistle, editing, sending, and also preparing pictures for the club’s instagram, while collecting my stuff and making sure I’m not left behind. I continue working in the bus heading for the hotel, or the airport.

That’s the routine, more or less the same also at home games. When Palmeiras train or play, I am there. In addition to when there are special needs surging from Palmeiras or somewhere else. A lot of work, I promise you!

— ooo —

End of part I, stay tuned for part II.


Cesar Greco, in case you wondered


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While there’s no denying that TV Palmeiras’ success has been phenomenal – as highlighted by the recent visit of YouTube’s Latin America director John Farrell – Palmeiras are still a rookie, and a timid one, in the universe of Sports Club broadcasters.

In an all-exclusive interview for Anything Palmeiras, meet Stefano Bozzi, Head of Programmes at Manchester United’s TV channel MUTV, a 24/7 channel with an global audience estimated at 6 million in 85 countries.

— ooo —

Anything Palmeiras: Stefano, first of all: thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Could you start by giving an overview of what MUTV is all about?

Stefano Bozzi: Certainly, Kristian. Well, MUTV is the official television channel of Manchester United, the number one sports brand in the world. It was launched in 1998 and was the first club channel of its kind. Today, MUTV operates 24/7, producing and broadcasting both live and pre-recorded programmes. We have two studios, one at Old Trafford and the other at the training ground, the Aon Training Complex in Carrington. All our programmes are transmitted from Old Trafford to the BT Tower in London and then uplinked to the Sky satellite platform. There is no advertising, but a subscription of £6 (US$10) a month. We have some 100,000 subscribers in UK & Ireland alone and can be seen, in various forms, in 85 different countries.

MDLThere are new shows nearly every day – on average nine hours of fresh programming each week. On match days, we come on air for a 30 minute preview show three hours before kick-off, then are on air constantly from an hour before kick-off – bringing our fans exclusive interviews and the team news first – then for 15 minutes at half time, and then for an hour and a half post-match when we do interviews, analysis and hear from our viewers via phone, skype, email and social media.

Of course we do not have the rights to show Premier League, Champions League or FA Cup matches live. But we do have secondary rights, enabling us to do full match re-runs and highlights once the holdback delays have expired (usually midnight on the day of the game).
Big United Quiz.
We do various studio shows with former United players as guests and viewers calling in, show the U21 and U18 matches live and also show first team pre-season friendly games live and exclusively. We produce exclusive high quality documentaries, re-live classic archive matches, hold a weekly discussion show with newspaper journalists and preview each match with programming the night before. We hope to bring our fans unrivalled player access and behind-the-scenes footage – something that is not always easy to achieve.

AP: What kind of infrastructure is needed to operate a channel of this magnitude?

SB: We operate on an annual budget from the club, with a department of 60, based separately from the club in an office in the city centre. Our staff is made up of everyone from cameramen to schedulers to marketers to producers, directors, presenters, GFX engineers, EVS operators, transmission engineers and researchers. In addition to the TV programming, we also provide video content and a podcast for the website, mobile, app and all social media platforms, and produce material for club partners and sponsors.

My work is to commission and supervise production of all our studio, documentary, football and special event programming, and control our 24/7 scheduling.

AP: What is your background, Stefano?

SB: I grew up obsessed with sport and intent on a career in sports journalism in TV, radio and newspapers. After a degree and post-grad in journalism, I joined the BBC in 1997 as a junior archive assistant in BBC Radio Sport. In my ten years there, I moved to TV and worked on Match Of The Day and Football Focus, and produced our England coverage at European Championships and World Cups. I became Senior Producer at Setanta Sports in 2007, then worked for Premier League Productions, and returned to the BBC as Assistant Editor in Sports News, which included the 2012 Olympics. I have been Head of Programmes at MUTV since Feb 2013.

Stefano Bozzi (centre)

Stefano Bozzi (centre)

AP: At Palmeiras – or at least among Palmeiras supporters – there’s a bit of a heated discussion in relation to the passion vs. professionalism aspects of running a football club. The new Palmeiras administration, elected in late 2012, have brought a business-like mind-set to most areas of the administration, including, for example, marketing and public relations. The latter is a prime example: Palmeiras’ press and public relations have been outsourced to a company where the CEO is an outspoken corintiano (Palmeiras’ biggest rivals on and off the pitch). What are your views on this, relating to your work at MUTV?

SB: Coming from the BBC it is a very different environment here. It is far more corporate and business-like. More professional than passionate. That being said, most of the staff here are United fans. But not all. I make no secret of my allegiance to Arsenal and I have a picture of former Arsenal captain Tony Adams in my office. There are even Man City and Liverpool fans here. As long as they have a passion for and sound knowledge of football, and are committed professionally to Manchester United, then that is good enough for me. In fact, some objectivity when producing MUTV content can be a good thing. We always respect the opposition and maintain a high level of editorial judgment. Partisan yes. Biased no. And never overly critical of players or manager.

I never supported Manchester United but always respected the club’s history, tradition, legends, organisation, management and playing style. Being offered the opportunity to work for the club was something I just couldn’t turn down. I feel privileged every day I walk into Old Trafford – not just on match days. The chance to take MUTV forward and improve the output to the next level is a very exciting challenge.
MUTV billboard.
AP: What other teams have 24/7 TV channels? Do you keep an eye on the competition?

SB: I think it is just Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool and us now. Arsenal had a channel but dropped it. Arsenal and Man City have a very strong digital presence, it’s a different approach. We would like more access to players and coaches in an ideal world but of course appreciate the situation. The access in American sports is incredible – I don’t know if we will ever get to that level in the UK. On the other hand, our documentaries have been nominated for awards in recent seasons – this is a very strong element of MUTV and we are very proud of the quality. There is an annual European Club Channels conference in Italy which has proved very useful in meeting producers at other clubs and sharing experiences and ideas.

AP: When making football club TV, would you say there’s a standard formula that works well for all clubs, or must one really tailor the content?

Stewart and PaddySB: Both. It depends on the size of the club and how successful they are. We can do bigger budget programming than small clubs, but smaller clubs often have far superior access to their players. At MUTV, we spend very little time close to the players. You play to your strengths and attempt to overcome your weaknesses. We have, for example, very good relations with the many ex-players we use on our programming on a daily basis. There is a real push now to improve clubs’ short-form video content and player access is key to this, so this is something we hope to improve.

AP: Generally, does someone from the club management approve your content before it’s broadcasted, or do you have autonomy?

SB: Yes, the club monitors our content, and if we have an idea that may be contentious, or a problematic situation, we will consult the club.

AP: Do you make content specifically targeting different geographical regions of the Manchester United supporter base?

SB: Some shows are targeted to the local fans, some more to the global supporters, but ideally every show works for as wide an audience as possible.

Manchester United have an estimated 325 million followers in Asia alone. 173 million in Africa, some 90 million in Europe, 37 million in North America and some 34 million in South America. One of the prime targets of MUTV now is to broaden our appeal further and cater more effectively for our fans overseas – specifically Asia and Africa. We are developing match commentaries in other languages and are hoping to introduce bespoke programmes in certain languages soon, as well as develop different schedules for different parts of the world. We’re also considering the use of virtual studios.

AP: How important is MUTV for the internationalisation of the Club brand? Could MUTV be considered one of the pillars?

SB: Yes, very much so. In our view, the club channel alongside the club’s website and social media can be the first point for content creation to connect the club with its fans worldwide. A recent Man Utd “Jakarta Fan Party” attracted 10’000s of MU fans to watch a screened MU match live with fellow fans – all organised by the Club. In addition, we can leverage key players in certain regions, like Hernandez in Mexico & Central America, Valencia & Rafael in South America, and Kagawa in Japan & Asia.

MUTV 1998

MUTV 1998

AP: what else is in the pipeline? Where would you like to take MUTV?

SB: There is a lot happening on the technical side. We are aiming to go HD soon and begin to integrate more effectively with the website manutd.com and all of our social media outlets on Facebook, Twitter, Seina Weibo, Instagram and Google+. We also have plans to create vehicles on which we can push the channel and improve its exposure – such as second screen, on-demand services and web streaming. Essentially, what we hope to do in the future is make more of our programming into events to “attend”, much like the matchday experience. One example would be interviews with players streamed live across Facebook, allowing for instant questions and answers – fans watch on TV whilst getting involved via a tablet. We want to be the fans’ channel where they have a voice every day.

I also hope to introduce some children’s programming soon.

AP: Well, Stefano, with so much on your plate, I’d better leave you to it. Again, thank you so much for your time. Best of luck to you and your team while taking MUTV into new levels of excellence!

SB: Thank you so much Kristian. Clearly TV Palmeiras is making great strides forward. Many congratulations to everyone involved and all the very best for the future. Maybe we can work together at the Club World Championship one day!


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You know, Neymar? The 21-year old striker Barcelona today unveiled before 56K supporters at the Camp Nou stadium? The one with a US$ 74 million price tag?

Neymar_2004These days a never before seen videotape surfaced. On the tape, an interview with said Neymar, from 2004. The kid, only twelve years old, keeps a fixed gaze on the reporter while talking about his aspirations, showing his trophies, and letting us know what team he supports: Palmeiras. “Since when?”, asks the reporter. “Since always”, Neymar replies.

In case you want to practice your Portuguese (or perhaps just check out Neymarzinho), the video is available here.

Authenticity confirmed.

Authenticity confirmed!

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Yesterday (13 November) I participated in a radio programme called Fanáticos por Futebol (Football Fanatics) from the Radio Bandeirantes network – much thanks to the bridgebuilder Eder Silva Souza. In case you speak Portuguese (or just want to hear my sweet voice), click the logo on your upper left for a direct link to the interview (I’m on from 3m20) or access the Fanáticos por Futebol archive page.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Monday evening and I’m participating in the commemorations of the Turkish national day – a popular event among diplomats as the Turks are known for their hospitality and for serving good food in generous amounts in a beautiful setting. The military orchestra have just executed the Brazilian national anthem and the first notes of the Turkish anthem are filling the large Embassy reception area while I glance over to the Turkish ambassador on the opposite side. And directly to his left… Wait a minute. Who’s that, standing next to the ambassador? Could it really be?

As soon as the anthem finishes I move closer, getting the confirmation I seek as the man flashes an easily recognisable grin before edging toward an inner room followed by a camera crew. Alex, the former Fenerbahçe star, just back in Brazil after eight very good years in Turkey. Alex, who signed a two-year contract with Coritiba two weeks ago, frustrating cruzeirenses and palmeirenses alike.    

While Alex’s getting ready for an interview with the guys from SporTV, I introduce myself and we shake hands. I watch the interview, and then hang around while he does a second one, this time for Marcos Paulo Lima from the local newspaper Correio Braziliense. I try keeping one ear on the interview while maintaining a conversation with very pleasant Acaz Fellegger, Alex’s press adviser. The reporter touches upon the topic of Palmeiras and again, Alex confirms just how hard it is to play for Palmeiras and how much of the political struggles and the complicated management trickles down all the way and into the locker rooms, negatively influencing the squad. “If only half of what I read and hear about Palmeiras is true…” he says, highlighting an important factor that no doubt influenced his decision when looking into options upon returning to Brazil.

A little later, I have a few exclusive moments with Alex. We talk about his departure from Turkey and Turkish football. Although rather contained, Alex makes no secret of the fact that the sudden break and return to Brazil has been anything but easy – for him and for his family.

I proceed to congratulate him on his decision to return to his home town and sign with Coritiba. Still, I need to ask: you sure these are your last two years as a professional? The answer comes quickly: if I stay healthy and without injuries, who knows I might keep playing for a bit longer? Again, it becomes clear that his return to Coritiba at this time was not set in stone and that Palmeiras – had the club been able to offer stability and professionalism – possibly could have signed him, if only for a season.

With my wife and Acaz joining in on the conversation, the pleasant evening progresses as people every now and then approach Alex and ask for a picture. He attends every request promptly and always with a smile. When it’s time to leave, I wish him good luck in his continued career – except for when playing against Palmeiras – and he laughs. The ambassador comes by, there’s a last round of hearty handshakes and that’s that.

— ooo —

In my mind, three things stand out from this encounter with Alex:

1) The man is hugely popular and much respected in Turkey. I mean, he’s flown in from Curitiba to the national day commemorations at the Embassy? I’ve never seen anything like that in my 14 years of diplomatic service in the Capital.

2) Alex is every bit as considerate and generous as I’d come to imagine from our previous but virtual contacts.

3) We could have had him. We could have had him.

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Last week, two separate incidents that took place on Sunday 30 September made headlines both in Brazil and worldwide: the first involved a 13-year-old girl who stirred the blood of Coritiba supporters as she asked for and received the jersey from a player of the opposite team (Lucas, of São Paulo) at the end of the game; the second incident involved a Celtic supporter watching a Corinthians game from the stands at the Pacaembu, and is the focus of this post.

In an all-exclusive interview for Anything Palmeiras, 43-year-old Kevin Fawl from Edinburgh tells us exactly what happened that day and why the Corinthians club management have expressed their eagerness in finding the Scotsman to “put things right”.

— ooo —

Anything Palmeiras: Tell us a little about your trip, Kevin. Was this your first time in Brazil?

Kevin Fawl: Yes, it was. I arrived in São Paulo to conduct a few audits, arriving Saturday 30 September and leaving Thursday 4th October. This was my first time in Brazil and I do not speak Portuguese.

AP: Why on earth go to a Corinthians game in the first place?!?

KF: I had the Sunday available to rest and adjust to the time-zone. So I thought I would try and see a Brazilian football match. When I checked online in Scotland, the only game was Corinthians vs. Sport at 4pm on the Sunday. I talked to my contact in São Paulo and he got me a VIP ticket which was left at the hotel desk for my arrival.

AP: You’re a big Celtic fan, I take it.

KF: I always wear my Celtic tops and had my hoops on when I went. Celtic are a Scottish team 6.000 miles away from São Paulo. I did not believe there was any relevance between the two teams and still don’t.

There were lots of fans outside and there did not appear to be an issue outside the stadium. I also visited the stadium, the museum, etc.

When I entered the VIP door, I was shown to my seat. I looked around and there were other team shirts such as Sunderland, Inter Milan, etc. So I didn’t think I was out of place with my Celtic top.

Everything calm initially

AP: When did you start noticing something was wrong? Talk us through what happened.

The first half was ok, but no goals and passed off without any issue. However, when the referee blew for half-time that status changed. I stood up to stretch my legs and heard a couple of loud voices shouting in Portuguese. I thought this was normal and didn’t take any notice. I looked inside my VIP bag, etc. Then the number of voices increased and the volume increased. I then looked around and it was clear it was something near me that was the problem.

AP: “Near you”? The innocence of the lambs…

KF: Again, I just assumed it was something other than me that was the issue, as I had no reason to feel threatened.

Then, a Corinthians supporter outside the VIP area got my attention and told me that my top was causing offense. At that point, a police officer appeared and spoke in Portuguese. I started to realize what was happening and thought the best course of action was to go inside the VIP area away from the crowd. As I did this, two officers followed me in and a couple of fans apologized and shook their heads. The noise at this point was very loud and it sounded like half the stadium was jeering.

Escorted out by the police…

Once inside, I decided that it was best to put on my jacket, leave the stadium, and go back to the hotel. Which I did. As I left the VIP area to exit, one of the girls said that they were sorry and the issue was due to one of Corinthians’ rivals wearing green tops. Which I now know to be Palmeiras.

AP: Yes, the rivalry between Palmeiras and Corinthians is indeed something special and the derbies between the two are among the most talked about in Brazilian football. But say: in your opinion, were you foolish and, in a sense, “deserved it” or were the Corinthians supporters out of line?

KF: I think the Corinthians’ fans were a bit strange. A colour of a top does not define a team. A Celtic top is a Celtic top. Just as a Palmeiras top is a Palmeiras top. If I was wearing a Palmeiras shirt, then you could argue stupidity on my part. But I wasn’t.

In hindsight, I could have checked this. However, it should not excuse the poor behaviour of those fans towards a foreign tourist whose only objective was to enjoy his first Brazilian football match.

AP: Meaning you have now understood that in Brazil, you belong to a family of 15 million who wears green and white, the glorious Palmeiras family, who would receive you with open arms?

KF: I may be in São Paulo in 12 months and would happily come to see a full 90 minutes of a Palmeiras game, proudly wearing the Green and White hoops of Glasgow Celtic.

AP: Kevin, thank you for sharing your story with us. Welcome back to Brazil, to São Paulo, and to Palmeiras; may your next stay surprise you only positively!

KF: You’re welcome. Thank you.

— ooo —

EDIT: Unfortunately, Kevin left Brazil before Palmeiras and yours truly got hold of him – otherwise, he could have looked forward to a visit at the Club House and a tour around the construction site of the New Arena. In any case, it’s now confirmed by Palmeiras’ Press Office that our own Scotsman can expect a little something in the snail mail any of these days.

Avanti Palestra!

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