As Brazil beat Chile 1-0 in this weekends clash at the Emirates Stadium in North London, we remembered why we still love international friendlies.
The Brazilian and Chilean diasporas of London were out in full force, singing their respective national chants to the melody of Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s a Heartache”. A Sunday of typically English weather was no match for the warmth of the people as the smell of spicy Chorizo and roasted peppers coated the streets surrounding the Emirates.
The stands were a smattering of red and yellow as fans sat amongst each other, reflecting the friendly nature of the contest. As the match lulled around the 30th minute, the crowd responded with “la ola”; the kind of participation you might not see at an Arsenal match. Latin rhythms and the applause of an audience that appreciates a moment of individual skill punctuated with images of smiling families, will remain more deeply impressed in minds of those in attendance the Firmino’s 70th minute no-look goal.
Football is the beautiful game. We love the displays of intense passion behind a derby of Cup final, but there is also something to be said for playing for joy’s sake. In Brazil and Chile’s last national team match before the Copa America, Londoners got to relish in a celebration. Sunday’s was about more than a football match, it became a means to celebrate and share identity.
We teamed up with Viber to keep you updated on all the latest happenings at the game, via our exclusive access to the teams. Here’s our live blog from the weekend…