This morning we woke up bright and early. more cheerful might I add from the lack of sleep we had the day before. After breakfast we ventured off to the local favella where we got to see how some people here in Brazil live. Although the area wasn’t the best well kept, the kids were more happy and grateful than ever. We participated in a futsol tournament where some of us Wilkes players were able to experience playing the girls in the town, and might I add they were very skilled! Before we even got the chance to play we were greeted with bubbly little boy who were playing a pick up game. Once they saw us they quickly welcomed us with intriguing eyes and questions. I will never forget their faces when we gave them Wilkes “be colonel” pins and W magnets. After the game, the girls were all excited to speak and exchange gear and also teach us some dance moves (might we add samba is very popular is Sao Paulo).
Following the futsol tournament, we were able to take a tour of the Sao Paulo futbol club stadium. This stadium is apart of the biggest private club in South America. We got to see the locker room that is only used by the Sao Paulo players and were able to walk through the actual tunnel with music playing. We were able to see the view from the presidents private VIP box and the museum where they held all their trophies including track, boxing, swimming, tennis, and many other sports. This stadium is by far the biggest stadium any of us have ever imagined ( for all you NFL fans out there, this makes the Giants look like pee-wee football). We ended our tour at the SPFC official gift store where we all got 10% off and used that to our advantage! Not only did we get to see what most Brazilian’s are never able to, but we also got tickets to the big game tomorrow night. It’s the semifinal for the Copa Libradatores – the club championship for South America. The winner gets a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Finally, to end our day, we were able to play the woman’s top team in Sao Paulo where we were able to hold the score to a reasonable standard. One of the goals were scored by a girl who is currently on the Brazilian U20 national team. The score was 1-0 at half and ended with a hard fought 3-0. At the end we exchanged a team banner that most pro national teams exchange at the beginning of a game. We were also given the opportunity to exchange jerseys with some of the players, and even a few spoke some english! The night ended with some pizza from the local pizzeria which might I add gives New York a run for their money. We then did some shopping and are relaxing for our crazy day tomorrow, which includes: Favellas again, local shopping mall, 7v7 game, dinner, SPSF game at 10pm, then finally a Samba club where our translator sings.