WTTGT Writer: David McManus
Forget winning the World Cup a record five times, forget hosting the 2014 World Cup – in this edition of Meet the Global Gooners we speak to the Brazilians who only want to talk “Arsenal.”
Arsenal Brasil (ABSC), as they are known, are the supporters club in Brazil that gives the Gunners a voice deep in the heart of Amazon country.
The group were formed in 2007 by founder Hendrix Freire, who would later be joined by president Matheus Vianna amongst others, before being granted official supporters club status by Arsenal in 2010.
General Committee member, Alcysio Canette said: “Our club was recognised by Arsenal in June 2010, but the project had been running since 2007.
“I wasn’t personally involved in the regulation process [to become official], but I’d seen them in the social media collecting the needed signatures to be become an official Arsenal Supporters Club.
“They basically approached every Brazilian Gooner they knew and asked them to spread the word – and finally they managed to achieve their goal.”
As we all know, Brazil is a hell of a trek to North London; but that hasn’t prevented dedicated members of Arsenal Brasil from soaking up some of the Emirates atmosphere.
“I personally went to London to watch Arsenal in January, 2010,” said Alcysio. “A very cold and gloomy 2-2 draw versus Everton.
“And last year, the supporters club organised a trip to the Grove in December to watch two matches – the one against Chelsea and an away match against Wigan.
“The first match, the ABSC flag was present as we smashed Chelsea in one of the best performances last season – and we were also interviewed by Arsenal TV that day.
“After that, ESPN Brasil travelled with us to Wigan, where they done a three minute piece about us.
“That was massive for us in terms of acknowledgment amongst Brazilian Gooners who had still never heard of us, but joined us because of that exposure.”
On regular match days, members will occasionally meet in O’Malley’s pub, São Paulo, to watch the game. However, due to the size of the country not everybody can make it.
“Brazil is a massive country and our fanbase is quite scattered,” explains Alcysio. “Most of us would have to buy a bus or a plane ticket to attend that event.
“So, we meet three or four times a year at the most but we implemented a national meeting last year, to spend a few days together and really get to know each other.”
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