EDitorial ± 17-Jun-2002

Boys From The Black Stuff

My big brother loved Brazil from an early age: not only did he have a replica gold shirt c/w CBF badge, he was also the proud owner of an authentic Brazilian Subbuteo team. In those days the mighty South Americans played out any number of friendly matches against Inter Milan, oddly enough, with continental style goals at either end of the glued-down pitch.

This all rubbed off on me, and a schoolmate was good enough to get me a programme for the 1978 England v. Brazil match at Wembley (remember that old place?) featuring a moustachioed Rivelino on the cover. Possessions can't make you happy, but this came pretty close. Nearly a quarter of a century later we find the equally exotically named Rivaldo and Ronaldo scoring in every game to set up this Friday's glamour quarter final. Fab.

Brazilian flag built from Lego, part of a set now adorning the top of the telly representing the nations still competing for the World Cup; sorry Jo, we took yours apart

Let's briefly recap what we know about Brazil:

  1. it's an enormous landmass of Catholic Portuguese speakers
  2. there's an awful lot of coffee & sugarcane & cassava there
  3. surname of former Ipswich favourite and pub landlord Alan
  4. also a highly original Terry Gilliam film with Jonathan Pryce: has anyone seen Lowry?

For reasons that I'll keep to myself, I once sent a fax to the Brazilian Football Association. Prior to this I'd tracked down a Spanish girl who happened to be working in my area and asked her to translate my message. She was none too impressed at my casual Spanish-equals-Portuguese assumption. At least they were good enough to fax me back even if it was clear that they didn't understand a single word.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. don't they call Cowdenbeath "the blue Brazil"?
  2. hopefully my godson will wear his blue "Brasil" shirt with pride
  3. one word: Maracana!

Be seeing you!