My last day in Rio is greeted by sunshine. Glorious Glorious sunshine. So its off to actually indulge in it
I head off down to the beach. We walk our way to Ipanema to soak up Posto 9. But we don’t make it that far. Only getting so far as Arprodor where we run into Luke already down here.
Its time to soak up Rio’s other famed beach. Its a fine way to enjoy the day. The views are outstanding, waves are small but punchy and the sun is great. Its a fantastic end to my time in Rio.
After our day at the beach, we head back to the hostel and gather up our things.
We put on our only black shirts to try and fit in. And board the metro train. We literally have no idea where we are heading. But we are going to Estadior Havelange. The makeshift stadium for FC Flamengo to go watch them in the Copa Libertadores match against Real Potosi (Bolivia).
At Central Station we get off and spot a few Flamengo kids. We hestintaly walk up and ask if they know how to get to the stadium. Surprisingly, they speak pretty good english, and help us buy a ticket for the train ride there. And even help us find the train (its the same one they are on). Surprisingly, there are vendors selling all kinds of drinks on here too.
We arrive at the station near to the stadium. And the whole train is unloaded. Literally every body gets off and its a sea of red and black.
Our new found friends guide us to the box office. We wander past a line, that goes on, and on, and on, and on. Its by far the longest queue I’ve ever seen. At then end is the box office. With everyone ramming into the small section.
We decide against lining up for a ticket, and head to outside the gate. We’re off to buy a scalped ticket. Though due to the excess of cops around, the scalpers are no where to be seen. We thank our amigos for their help and go to find a scalper back in front of the ticket box.
We find one, and he’s offloading tickets left right and centre. We try haggling for a price. He wants 80 reais for a 60 reais ticket. In our broken portuguese we try, but unfortunately he has the upper hand with people coming up to him all the time. Another 10 dollars isn’t much (20 reais is about 10 AUD). And we head off to the game with our purchased ticket.
We make it. Just in time. And kick off starts just as we go to sit down which means we’ll be standing for the game. The game is a bit sluggish with Flamengo controlling most of the game. And a late goal to Leonardo Moura sets the fan into jubilation.
Half time comes and its time to grab an oversized drink and food. Unfortunately, they dont serve beer, so its a guarana for me.
The 2nd half kicks off, and all the Flamengo fans are on edge. Flamengo need to win this game by 2 goals to win this cup tie. They take plenty of shots at goal. But nothing goes into the back of the net.
A lot of nails a bitten. Time has finished. And added time kicks on. Just one more goal is needed or it goes to extra time.
Up steps a legend. The one, the only Ronaldinho. Every time he touched the ball a chant went up that sounded like “you are Ronaldinho”. He is probably past his prime, and throughout the game incredibly lazy. He does a quick one two, steps past a defender, then calmly slots in the winning goal. Then runs over to the fans to celebrate.
The whole crowd erupts into jubilant scenes. Shirts flying in a circular motion. People jumping and hugging strangers. The place is going nuts. Before the play can restart, its game over. And the end of the game. A win for Flamengo to go through in the Copa.