The reaction came from someone who was a few steps behind: “Cruzeiro is the biggest in Minas!”, he smiled. The quick and good-natured exchange of provocations could have taken place on any day in Belo Horizonte, 11,000 kilometers away. But, in fact, it symbolizes the legion of Brazilians who choose the team’s uniform with all their heart to cheer for the Selection at the World Cup in Qatar.
In the streets, sights and stadiums of the capital Doha, it is not difficult to find someone showing their passion for the club with shirts, flags and banners. In matches for the Brazilian team, the stands behind the goals are filled with different shields.
“My national team is Atltico. If I’m here at the World Cup, I thank Atltico, because above the national team is Atltico”, said Gustavo Bicalho, who arrived wrapped in a black and white flag to watch the Brazilian defeat by 1-0 to Cameroon, at the Icnico de Lusail Stadium, last Friday (2).
On the same night (afternoon in Brazil), the sisters Mnica and Marlise Brando show their shared passion. In Qatar, they decided to wear shirts half from the national team, half from their favorite club. The first is American, while the second supports Atlético. “I’m Galo, in first place, always. But since we’re in the Cup, we have to bring a little bit of Brazil too”, said Marlise.
In front of them, a group dressed in blue seems to be trying to find the port to enter the sumptuous stage of the final on the 18th. When they notice the approach, they patiently listen to the Portuguese and answer in Spanish: “We are Mexicans”, they say, laughing. Jeniffer Monter, Jos Lus Cortes and Hugo Prez sport shirts and a Cruzeiro banner.
“We have friends who are from Minas Gerais, specifically from Itabirito, near Ouro Preto. That’s why we like Cruzeiro and the Brazilian team too”, explained Prez. “Wearing the Cruzeiro shirt has been a tradition since Brazil. We bought it in Mineiro. We are Cruzeiro until we die”, reinforced Cortes.
“Cruzeiro is a great team and has just moved up (to Serie A) with Ronaldo. We came to watch Brazil, we are passionate about it, we will support Brazil with everything”, concluded Monter.
They are not the only foreigners wearing Brazilian club shirts. On the outskirts of the stadium, an American chose the Vasco uniform to support Brazil, while an Israeli wore the Grmio uniform. Days earlier, in the streets, a goan showed off the 2021 Manto da Massa and said he had a collection with three pieces from Atltico.
In Lusail, shirts from dozens of teams from all over Brazil met. Flamengo, Palmeiras, Corinthians, Atltico, Cruzeiro, Vasco, Cricima, Fluminense, Inter, Grmio, Botafogo, So Paulo, Santos, Bahia, Sport… Together, those who wore them cheered for the Brazilian National Team – but, of course, not forgetting the first and greatest love.
But sometimes, the choice of clothing goes beyond passion for the club. Joo Lucas Dal Farra has more than 100 club shirts. He supports Cricima and decided to honor the team in the Brazilian debut in Qatar, the 2-0 victory over Serbia. It was lucky. Now, he no longer wants to know about wearing another uniform.
“I brought eight Cricima shirts to Qatar and did a poll on my social networks to decide which one I would wear in Brazil’s first game. This one, from 1996, won. Brazil won the first game and I said: ‘I’m not going to take it off. more’. As long as Brazil plays, I’m going to wear this shirt for luck”, he said, laughing, moments before the setback against the Cameroonians in the group stage.
Among Brazilians, regional and national feuds persist, but they are softened by the passion for the Selection. Wrapped in the Guarani flag, Edu Henrique walks side by side with his great friend Rodrigo Ceregatti, who wears a yellow shirt with the CBF and Ponte Preta crests.
The rivalry between clubs in Campinas is one of the biggest – and most violent – in the country. In Qatar, they go together, without problems. “It has to be like this always”, says the Bugre fan.
But there is also room for provocation. Tiago Silveira took the Sport flag and posed for a photo when he heard: “87 do Flamengo!”, in reference to the historical controversy about the 1987 Brazilian champion. low, without responding to the flamenguista’s joke.
Amid so many demonstrations of passion for the clubs, the uniforms of the Brazilian team are still the majority in World Cup games. Most of the shirts have “Brazil” spelled like this, with a “z” in place of the “s”, in yet another indication of the number of foreigners who support the country in Qatar.
They come from many parts of the world, especially from countries in South and Southeast Asia such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh. And they join Atleticanos, Cruzeirenses, Americans, Palmeiras, Vascans, Flamengo fans and many others cheering in a unison chorus for the six-time championship.