Brazil is alive with football culture, big clubs and wonderful people
The Helsinki Cup has travelled all around the world and our most recent destination was Brazil. Our sales manager Jarkko Paloniemi, who was on the trip, says that a lot was learned a lot about Brazilian team culture and the differences between the clubs which will come to the Nordic countries. Jarkko was assisted on the Brazilian tour by Leonardo Mascarenhas, someone who is very well-known to the Helsinki Cup, and he participated in the tournament again in the summer of 2022 after a couple of years of corona break. Leo himself has played in the Helsinki Cup since the late 1980s. He has maintained an interest in the tournament till now and he has been our agent in Brazil for well over 20 years, since the end of his playing career.
Leonardo had arranged a busy schedule for the trip, and over the course of four days we met a total of 11 different clubs in Sao Paolo, Campinas and Rio.
Pequeninos de Jockey is one of the Brazilian clubs that I s most well-known to Helsinki Cup participants, and it has been involved in the Helsinki Cup, under the leadership of Mr. Guimarães, for about 30 years. They have a training centre in Sao Paolo, together with a separate club museum. Pequeninos is in the process of applying for official accreditation for the museum, which has separate prize rooms, one of which is the Helsinki Cup ”sanctuary”. This room contains trophies they have won over the years, and posters and newspaper articles from the Helsinki Cup, as well as medals and souvenirs brought back by teams from Helsinki. This means that good vibes from the Helsinki Cup can be found here, about 11,300 km from Finland.
During other meetings, we got to know many clubs that were new to the Helsinki Cup. However, there were also a few clubs that had played in the Helsinki Cup in the summer of 2022, including Monte Libano, RS Sports and Ordin FC. The tournament visitors’ comments about Helsinki were nice to hear: excellent pitches, good public transport and a wonderful and clean city.
After three days in Sao Paolo and the nearby town of Campinas, the last day of the trip was spent in perhaps Brazil’s most famous city, Rio de Janeiro. There we had more meetings, including some with the EliezerMax school, which has become well-known to the Helsinki Cup and the other Nordic countries over the decades. They participated most recently in 2008. We revived this tradition and hope to that teams from EliezerMax will join us again in Helsinki in the next few years.
We left behind a lot of Fazer Blue chocolate on the trip and we gained valuable information and connections, as well as creating opportunities to continue and develop the tournament’s international activities further. These club visits have a really positive impact on the future, and both South and North American clubs and teams are interested in Helsinki and the Nordic countries.
We are very grateful to all the clubs in Brazil for welcoming us to visit their venues, and giving us their valuable time and information about the teams. And a big thank you to Leo for hosting the trip!
See you in Helsinki 2023!
Visiting the Escola de Futebol Projecto in Burginhos
Visiting the Pequeninos de Jockey club
Helsinki Cup trophies in the Pequeninos de Jockey museum
The Hipica Campinas pitches
Jarkko’s souvenirs for the clubs
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