Chaos before the Grêmio v Internacional game in Brazil By Luke Simmons

My wife is from Rio Grande do Sul which has around 11 million passionate football fans who are mad about either Grêmio or Internacional. While living there, I got a ticket to the "Grenal" which is the name of the fixture when the fierce rivals clash. I was instructed by my friend Leandro to meet on the corner 2 hours before the game so we can prepare. He is a Grêmio fan. By preparing, he meant drinking beer. When I got to the meeting point, the street was absolutely full & the cars attempting to get through were in gridlock. Without pause, Leandro handed me my cup & I began... erm, preparing! It was cool catching up with Leandro's friends & I even started to get used to the policemen walking by with their full riot gear on carrying their shotguns.

I noticed some commotion on the road &, through the sea of blue Grêmio shirts, I saw that someone had "stupidly" decided to pass through this road in a taxi wearing their distinctively red Internacional shirt. I don't know whether he flashed his middle finger at the mob - but his cab got showered in beer bottles all the same. This sharp movement attracted the eyes of the police who stormed over & started firing off their super loud (blank ammunition) rounds into the crowd. In terms of crowd dispersion, I had never seen anything so effective! With the space now clear to pass, the taxi limped on it's way - complete with police guard. And once the dust settled, we quickly got back to our pre-game preparation activities. Wow.


in Rua Afonso Pena, 244, Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

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I believe that life is a (relatively) short ride and that it's crucial to squeeze as many good times out of it as possible. I love travelling, music, reading, writing, all kinds o' sport, & my wife!

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