Chelsea, the most Brazilian club in London
London isn’t particularly Latin American anywhere. I have spent the last year here and there were rare occasions in which I felt really at home, despite enjoying my experience here. One of the best days I had was a few weeks ago when I saw Chelsea beat Sunderland 2-1. All the Brazilian stores surrounding Stamford Bridge and my countrymen wearing blue made the city more endearing to me. But my second impression of the European champions would be stronger.
Last weekend I had the chance of watching Chelsea vs Everton in a great seat just behind Rafa Benitez. It was thanks to a friend’s uncle who works there as a physio. I was very glad to see Premiership football from so close. But I got even more; after the match was finished I was invited to join the players at “Under the Bridge,” a club just below the stadium. They would wave goodbye to Portuguese defender Paulo Ferreira, a man who had served the club for 10 years. John Terry was speaking, but no one cared that much.
David Luiz and Ramires had tears in their eyes. They also made Ferreira and his wife cry. As the ones leaving got their flowers, they shook hands with most of the players. But they had to hold the Brazilians and their families. After a while most of the other were also touched — you could see it in Terry’s face and hear it on Gary Cahill’s voice. Not the kind of thing South Americans expect from one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, filled with players who have won it all. I guess that is what a bit of Brazil does to you.