Brazilians to Indians: Don't rely on governments!

The visit of World Club Cup champion São Paulo Futebol Clube to East Bengal's Kanchenjungha stadium for their 27 January 2007 Supper Soccer match gave a boisterous 26,000 strong pro-East Bengal weekend crowd an energetic taste of samba football while they thrashed the local team 3-0. However the visitors expressed surprised at the level of football potential in India. “There’s plenty of talent in India. You just need to groom them properly,” Antonio Carlos Silva, the Sau Paulo coach, told Parag Biswas of The Statesman. Marcelo Gouvea, Director of Planning and Development, offered to take away a few talented players from India to Brazil for training, but stressed that they should all be below 10 years of age while the club's President, Juvenal Juvencio, urged Indian sports administrators to send a delegation to Brazil to learn about the Brazilian tactical style.

Sau Paulo captain, Marcos Antonio Miranda Filho, laid to rest the myth popular in india that the development of football in Latin American countries was largely due to proactive role played by the government there. “The governments don’t do good things for football in Brazil,” he said. “Though Brazil, like India, is also a developing country and though its growth rate is almost seven percent below India’s, soccer has developed there mainly because of the love of the people for the game,” he said. He also revealed that they did not depend on governmental assistance but raised money through donations and sponsorships for the development of clubs and for the training of their players.