I have mentioned that I decided to follow Inter futebol after attending one of the games shortly after arriving in Brazil. Little did I know that I would be following them as a major champion before leaving.

Over the past few weeks Inter won enough games to put them into a championship battle against C.D. Guadalajara.

Leading up to the game there were signs throughout the city that something big was happening. There were vendors on street corners selling various Inter themed items. There were people flying huge flags from their car windows (not wimpy clip ons ones that you see for US teams, actual full sized flags).  There was a flag being flown out of the window on a bus.

Since the TVs in the rooms at Bela Vista are fairly small I decided to head down to the lobby and watch the game on the flat screen inn the café.

The game itself was nerve wracking and it was 0-1 at half. If it had remained that way there would have been overtime since this was a 2 game series and Inter had won the first game 2-1. It was also a very physical game, not nearly as many yellow cards as in the World Cup finals, but 1 red card and a lot of things that went uncalled such as the 3 punches delivered to the back of one of the Inter players late in the game. There was even a time when one of the Inter players had to leave for a head wound that caused so much blood he had to change his shorts on the sideline before the ref would let him back in the game and in doing so wound up wearing a pair with a number that did not match his jersey.

As I mentioned in one of my early Brazil posts the atmosphere at these games is insane (and puts anything we have back home to shame). The best way that I can describe it is to compare it to old school 5th quarter celebrations (sadly they aren’t even the same anymore) which have been put on steroids and then expand that to the the whole stadium (not just the student section) and have it go on during the whole game (as well as before and after).

Oh, and then add smoke flares and possibly even sparklers, it was kind of hard to tell from TV.

After the win, the city went wild. There were honking car horns and extremely loud firecrackers in seemingly every direction.

Sadly I couldn’t venture outside after the game to get any photos of the revelers as I had to lead a class at 8 A.M. the next day, and given that the game didn’t start until 10 P.M., and thus it was now midnight, there already was not a lot of time for sleep. In hindsight I wish I had wandered out at least for a bit as it was probably quite a sight to see.

Since about 80% of the office supports Inter, the mode there the next day was quiet joyous and lots of folks were decked out in their finest red and white Inter wear, myself included.  There was even one woman, Priscila who brought around chocolates in the shape of futebol shoes.

In that day’s Portuguese class we actually had an article about the match as our reading for the day (actually it was only the first three paragraphs) and learned what bicampeão means. It is the second win, and it doesn’t have to be in a row. In this case Inter last won this title, for the first time, in 2006 and yet it is still a bicampeão and thus can’t directly be compared to a repeat (or three-peat or four-peat) in the states.

When I ventured out at lunch I saw a large flag being flown by the passenger on a motorcycle. Definitely a lot more vibrant that when a US team wins something big, even the Super Bowl.