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Last Updated: Monday, 23 May, 2005, 07:30 GMT 08:30 UK
Brazil fascinated by Reds fervour
Liverpool's crowd inspire their team to victory over Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final second leg at Anfield
Brazil's coverage of Liverpool has been fascinated by their support
In the build-up to the Champions League final on Wednesday, Brazil's weekly sports magazine Lance A+ published a profile of Liverpool.

A sidebar column is devoted to the supporters' anthem You'll Never Walk Alone, which, according to the text, was written by Badgers and Hammerstein.

Either this is a hysterical misprint or the author has some inside knowledge on the hidden (underground?) contribution of furry mammals to 20th century popular music.

In any case, Liverpool's run to the final has given the Brazilian media the chance to burrow into the fan culture of British football.

No-one could possibly argue that Liverpool's semi-final, second leg at home to Chelsea was a great game.

For Brazilian TV, though, the spectacle provided by the supporters made up for any lack of excitement on the field.

The commentators were fascinated with the shots of fans, much closer to the pitch than they are in the major Brazilian stadiums, biting their nails off or waving their scarves.

And the non-stop singing also created an atmosphere very different from that normally felt in Brazil, where the drums will often keep going but the fans will only chant if inspired by events on the field.

Daniel Carvalho
Brazilian Carvalho inspired CSKA Moscow to victory in the Uefa Cup

Of course, part of the fascination of football is that it is a universal language that is spoken with different accents.

I've heard South American crowds sing adapted versions of English language hits such as Karma Chameleon and Rivers of Babylon.

In general, though, the way that the game is supported still follows local traditions.

English fans become excited by corners, as Faustino Asprilla was amused to note, while Brazilian crowds love those moments when an opposing player is made to look stupid, even if it serves no objective purpose.

One of the reasons behind Brazilian television's sudden fascination with the Anfield roar is that they knew very little about it.

None of their compatriots feature in the multi-national line up of Rafa Benitez.

Brazilian players have conquered almost all of Europe but the Premiership remains relatively immune to the South American invasion.

Are Liverpool missing out? Last week's Uefa Cup final offered evidence for both sides of the argument.

CSKA Moscow's Brazilian Daniel Carvalho was the undisputed man of the match.

He may have been responsible for gifting Sporting Lisbon their lead - a shot superbly taken by his compatriot Rogerio - but he hit back in true style.

He showed the all-round quality of his game - strength, pace and a terrific left foot - to set up all three of his side's goals, the last of which was scored by yet another Brazilian, Vagner Love.

CSKA, then, could feel very happy about their investment. Brazilian flair made the difference.

Sporting Lisbon, though, might have a different story to tell about their star Brazilian striker Liedson.

He has enjoyed an excellent season but when his club needed him most he froze on the big occasion.

He tried to do everything himself, failed and offered nothing to the team. It now appears that he has been in negotiations with his former club Corinthians, so perhaps his mind was not sufficiently focused on the task in hand.

Now Liverpool face AC Milan and their battery of Brazilians, hoping that on Wednesday Dida, Cafu, Kaka and Serginho can be badgered into taking their big-night cues from Liedson and not from Carvalho.




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