This isn't really a match report, but more of a general musing about a true spectacle of a game, which took place on Saturday 24 January between Corinthians (2012 FIFA World Club Cup champions), and English amateur side Corinthian Casuals. I was invited to the game by Mark Hillary and the British Consulate, where I also met musician Daniel IV who I knew through Twitter, as well as UK Consul General Richard Turner. We were treated to VIP tickets.
Corinthians invited us to their brand new Arena Corinthians stadium, specially constructed for the World Cup – ominously, perhaps, the same location where England's World Cup ended thanks to two Luis Suarez goals.
I must make a point of something right away. What a magnificent stadium! From the TV, the World Cup opening ceremony and matches looked amazing here, with the atmosphere being incredible. Seeing the place in the flesh is a wonderful experience. It's modern, clean, big and surprisingly atmospheric. With the two temporary goal-end World Cup stands already removed, it's also a very unique and characterful stadium. True, the open ends behind the goals are bizarre but this doesn’t detract from the atmosphere at all. The boisterous Corinthians fans have certainly made it home. I was high up in the VIP box, but wish I could have joined them with their bouncing, chanting and unfurling of giant flags and beating of samba drums.