Who said Brazilians take their football seriously... By Luke Simmons

While living in Brazil, an opportunity came up to head along to watch Grêmio play a crucial away fixture against Internacional - their fierce inner-city rival. It sounded like fun...

So I met my friend near Gremio's home stadium for a pre-match beer and this is where I learned that we'd be getting a police escort for the 3.5km walk to Inter's ground. Okay then...

The time came to head to the meeting point which included about 20 cops in riot gear riding horses clad in matching apparel. All of the police moved to their positions which was meant to provide "protection" from the front, back and sides.

Without much of a wait, about 500 of us Grêmio supporters pressed forward making our blue-coloured beeline towards the ground through the back streets to avoid the Inter supporters who were also on their pilgrimage to the ground.

I knew we were in their territory due to the abuse that was yelled at us from people on the apartment balconies - which were bursting with banners and flags all matching Inter's red. It wasn't one-way traffic with our guys returning insults and even dedicating a cheeky one fingered salutes back up.

Our group moved a bit like an accordion with moments when the police leading us had to stop to avoid a clash with groups of chanting Inter supporters. And as we approached the stadium, the crowds had dispersed thanks to an especially created no man's land. Into the packed stadium we went.

"Okay, what happens next?", I thought to myself.

in Avenida Padre Cacique, 891, Praia de Belas, Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


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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