In England we may have invented the beautiful game of football. But if there is one country that has truly shown the world how to play it, then it is Brazil. Supporters of all countries have been mesmerised over the years by the abundance of talent that Brazil has produced, including Pele, Ronaldo, Romario, Zico, Socrates, Jairzinho, Ronaldinho, and Neymar, to name only a few.
Brazil is a geographically massive country, with a vast, and hugely diverse population, united by their love of the game. There is therefore perhaps no greater compliment to Tottenham than the knowledge that there is a growing fan base in Brazil, who are passionate about Spurs, and their support for the club
To find out more, we meet with Diego, the President of the Official Tottenham Supporters Club of Brazil
What is your name, and where are you from?
Diego, I’m 32 years old and I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Are you part of a fan club, and if so, tell us a little bit about it?
Yes, I am president of Brazil Spurs, we have fan clubs in different states of the country and the number of Tottenham fans is growing every day. We are a very active fan club where we frequently interact on social networks (facebook, instagram, twitter and whatsapp), we meet to watch Tottenham matches and also to play football matches between members.
How many members do you have? And do you meet often?
In our online communities we have about 5,000 followers, but I believe that in Brazil there are approximately 2,000 fans which follow the club news daily. We meet once a month and for all games of great importance.
Where do you watch games?
In Rio de Janeiro we met at the Lord Jim Pub, in São Paulo they meet at the O’malleys Pub, and in Curitiba we met at the Salty Pub. Our country is immense geographically, so we also have meetings in other cities like Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Manaus and Recife. About 20-25 people meet at each location.
Why Tottenham? How and why did you end up following Spurs?
I followed the Premier League and I was fascinated by Tottenham’s history, the club’s rivalry with the other London teams, and the fact we could compete with teams even without having the same budget as the other clubs.
Would you say that Spurs was a big club (in terms of support / fan base) in your part of the world?
Yes, Tottenham fans in Brazil grew a lot with the arrival of Brazilians at the club like Gomes, Sandro, and Paulinho. We also had a great increase of fans with the performances of Gareth Bale in the UEFA Champions League.
Is Tottenham’s profile growing in his part of the world? And if so, can you elaborate?
Yes, Tottenham games are being broadcast more frequently in Brazil, the UEFA Champions League matches attract new fans and the arrival of Lucas Moura can still bring us many new members.
Do you get to watch games live in Brazil?
Yes, all Tottenham games are broadcast on TV, we watch all matches live.
Do you have any type of relationship with the club and / or other supporters groups?
Yes, we keep in touch with the club via e-mail, on social networks, and we have had online interviews in the past with players such as Chadli and Townsend. We are always present at the annual official fan event hosted by the club.
Do you get a lot of English Spurs fans in Brazil? And if so, what is their response / reaction to seeing local support?
Yes, we have a base of Englishmen who live in Rio de Janeiro and frequent the bars to watch the match with us. We also welcome English, American, Scottish and Australian tourists who cheer for Tottenham. All are well received well, and they really like our support.
How would you describe Tottenham’s season so far? Are you happy with performances?
Yes, I was worried at the start of this season after the moving from White Hart Lane, and feared the matches at Wembley. But we managed to improve our football during the season. We suffered a disappointment to be eliminated by Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, but I am sure we will return next season. We have the possibility to finish as winners of the FA Cup, which would be wonderful for fans and players.
Which player has stood out the most for you this year?
Heung Min Son; the Korean scored many vital goals, was decisive in important games and gave us many assists.
Are there specific Tottenham players that are admired, or particularly popular in your Brazil?
Yes, Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, and now Lucas Moura.
How do you feel about Tottenham’s management since Mauricio Pochettino took over?
Excellent, he has improved the ranks of young players coming through the club, brought players in that have become important, and helped them to grow with his management, and training. He knows how to manage the team well by giving everyone the opportunity to show their potential. Now we fight equally with any club in the Premier League and the World!
How do you think the new stadium will affect the club?
Wow, it will be a fantastic stadium, we are all eager to see it ready. I believe it will improve the club’s finances, and attract top players from all over the world. I look forward to celebrating great titles at the new stadium.
What would you like to see from Tottenham moving forward, for the rest of this season and beyond?
I hope that Tottenham will secure their place in the next Champions League, win the FA Cup, and hopefully in the future we can celebrate the Premier League title in our new stadium, it would be a dream come true.
And finally, anything you would like to add?
I want to thank you for the platform that you are giving to the official Spurs supporters club of Brazil, it is very nice to know a little more about our friends around the world. I hope our fans can further increase this interaction among Spurs supporters worldwide. We will always be together for Tottenham Hotspur! COYS