Recife threw up a wee surprise on my South American trip. I don’t tend to stick to obvious tourist routes for most of my travels, hence why I flew from Paramaribo in Suriname to Recife in north eastern Brazil. It’s not an obvious tourist place for non-Brazilians but it deserved to be seen. My friend Katia lives in Recife, and has 2 sons and a daughter. So it was a perfect place to stay for a couple of nights. Even better when her son Rodrigo told me he was a big Sport fan – Sport being the name of the local football club – Sport Club Do Recife. We drove out to the stadium to see it!
Like AFC Bournemouth, AC Milan and Crusaders, Sport play in red and black. For the day I was wearing my Glentoran shirt, which also has red and black on it. This lion is the club mascot and appears outside the shop. I immediately made Sport Club Do Recife my Brazilian team to follow.
First of all we went into the club shop. I was on a tight budget so buying an official shirt was out of the question, but I did buy a pair of Sport socks. Some red and black Sport balls in the window there.
Outside the Sport Official Club Shop at their stadium, Estadio Ilha Do Retiro, situated near a river in the city’s Ilha Do Leite and Ilha Do Retiro area. Incidentally Recife is a somewhat charming city and one which is much larger than you could contemplate, the population of it alone much larger than the entire people living in the country of Northern Ireland.
Club Shop. We actually did well to get a parking space. It was busy.
Home shirt. Red and black army!
Away shirt. White.
Amazing club shop. I would have bought a club shirt if my budget had allowed me.
With the home kit. How I wanted one!
Club shop again. There are 3 main clubs in the city of Recife: Sport, Nautico and Santa Cruz. Recife as a city will host the 2014 World Cup. Sport’s biggest rival locally is Nautico, the derby with them is called “Classico dos Classicos” (the derby of all derbies), yet oddly in the entire region of Pernambuco, Santa Cruz and Sport are the most supported clubs, therefore when Sport play Santa Cruz it is known as “Classico dos Multidoes” (the derby of the masses).
Statue of Ademir, born in Recife, ex-Sport player and national hero at the 1950 World Cup.
A wee bit of history about Sport Club Do Recife in Brazil then. Sport Club Do Recife have won the Brazilian League once, back in 1987. The Brazilian League is so vast, that it’s a complicated system. Sport actually just got promoted back into the Serie A in 2011, having dropped down a division. They also won the Brazilian Cup as recently as 2008. Having knocked out Nacional, Vasco De Gama and Palmeiras, they edged Corinthians in the final on the away goals rule. By winning this they got into the Libertadores Cup for all of South America, the equivalent of the European Cup/Champions League. My mate Rodrigo actually went to an away match in Ecuador in the competition. Sport won their group with ease but eventually lost to Palmeiras also of Brazil, on penalties.
Above the stadium marks those two main achievements in the club’s history.
I was with Rodrigo and his two mates, Renato and Antonio. After doing the shop and walking along the side of the stadium, we went to see if we could get inside.
Sport shirts for sale on the main street. Football shirts are everywhere in Brazil. I wondered if it was cheaper to buy them on the main street than inside the club shop.
And alas we were allowed in through a gate and providing we had visitors passes. Rodrigo was a member anyway.
There was a small museum to see before going into the stands.
Not many people will ever sign this book as coming from Irlanda Do Norte. In fact most of the names and places in there were all local Brazilians from Recife.
I think one of their other teams won the Championship that year (either at another level or in another sport) and this was proudly on display.
Trophy cabinet – National Brazil Cup Trophy.
Then it was into the main stand. Clean and tidy. And red and black.
Red and black walls on the entrance.
On match day this would be class. Beer and food stands a plenty.
And into the stands.
View from pitchside at the bottom of the main stand.
A few shots taken from the main stand.
The smaller stand opposite.
Relaxing in the stands at Sport Club Do Recife.
A bit of a contrast to Glentoran’s The Oval or AFC Bournemouth’s Dean Court, flying the Northern Ireland flag in Recife’s Estadio Ilha Do Retiro. Home of Sport! (by the way they are commonly just known as Sport, rather than the long, cumbersome title of Sport Club Do Recife).
Relaxing in the stands.
You want to see free football in Recife? Easy! Just rent a room in one of the skyscrapers overlooking the stadium. The stadium as you can see is not too high. Skyscrapers are very common in the cities of Brazil, particularly two of the cities I visited, Recife and Sao Paulo.
By the Sport Club Do Recife badge.
The official club badge and a wall where fans can buy a place and put their photos up.
Side of the stadium and the stand we were in.
Another view of the stadium.
We were lucky to catch the full team out training on their training pitches out the back. The season had just begun.
Even the training sessions in Brazil attract a decent crowd.
Holding my visitors pass and the bag which contains the socks I bought.
Drinks for sale while watching the reserves.
Unfortunately time was not on my side this time and the night after I left Recife, they had a home match. I was a but gutted by that, as I waited for Rodrigo to buy his match ticket but who knows, maybe I’ll return someday with the chance to watch Sport play next time.
A Season Ticket or a Member’s Card – Rodrigo’s.
There was an aeroplane in the yard by the stadium, the relevance of which passed myself and Rodrigo by!
I liked this. Three colourful flags fly. One is the region of Pernambuco flag, the other the Brazil National flag and the third is the flag and colours and badge of Sport Club Do Recife.
Brazil is football mad of course. Even the street has been renamed to basically Avenue of Sport Club Recife.
Ademir Menezes is one of the club’s most notable ex-players. He won the Golden Boot at the 1950 World Cup, though that tournament is forgotten by Brazil fans as Uruguay beat them 2-1 in the final to take the trophy.
Mascot again. Their nicknames range from City Daddy to The Northern Lions!
Wall by entrance.
Gates on opposite side of stadium.
The name of the stadium greatly confused me, as here the entrance sign clearly calls the stadium Estadio Adelmar Carvalho, yet the locals and all maps seem to say it is Estadio Ilha Do Retiro.
Team – Sport Club Do Recife
Colours – (home) red and black hooped shirts
(away) white shirts
Stadium – Estadio Ilha Do Retiro
Major Honours – Brazilian League 1987, Brazilian Cup 2008
Greatest Ever Player – Ademir Menezes
Official Club Website – http://www.sportrecife.com.br/index.cfm
Nationalities Met – Brazilian
Language – Portuguese
Strange Currencies – Brazilian Reals
With Thanks To – Rodrigo Alves plus his mates Renato and Antonio and all at Sport Club Do Recife in Brazil
Key Song –
“THEY’RE RED, THEY’RE BLACK THE HATCHET MEN ARE BACK, SUPER CRUES!”
(a song not available online actually but sung by Belfast team Crusaders FC in Northern Ireland)
My Videos –
DRIVING THROUGH RECIFE IN RODRIGO’S CAR:
INSIDE THE STAND AT ESTADIO ILHA DO RETIRO:
Some Videos Of Sport Club Do Recife –
2008 BRAZILIAN CUP FINAL TRIUMPH:
NUNCA DUVIDE DO SPORT:
HINO DO SPORT CLUB DE RECIFE:
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