For the past few days, a heartbreaking picture of a crushed Brazilian fan has been circulating social media sites and evoking a sense of pity from anyone who sees it. Even the most die-hard German soccer fanatic can’t help but feel sympathy for this Brazilian fan when they see him clinging to his FIFA trophy.
However, he is more than just a disappointed Brazilian fan. 59-year-old Clovis Acosta Fernandes, also known as “Gaúcho da Copa”, is arguably the most dedicated superfan in Brazil.
For Fernandes, it all started in 1990 when he decided to quit his job and sell his pizzeria so that he could experience the World Cup in Italy. Since then he has traveled to seven World Cups, over 150 international matches and 66 countries (including Germany) just to support his Brazilian National Football Team, Seleção. Because of this he is often referred to as Brazil’s “12th player”.
His reputation as the Brazilian fan has made him into a sort of celebrity. Domestic and foreign journalists come to interview him and take his picture whenever FIFA season comes around. He has even received sponsorship by the state government of Rio Grande do Sul to pay for his trip to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, a trip that cost around $6000 USD.
In an interview with FIFA before Brazil’s game with Germany, Fernandes says to all the Brazilian fans:
Supporters from all over the world must come to Brazil. Come to experience this fantastic emotion that will be our World Cup. We have hospitable people who will welcome you all and it will be a magical moment in the life of every fan. Come to Brazil! Come to help us break this record of 3.5 million spectators currently held by the United States. Let’s break it!
His enthusiasm and message to Brazilian fans almost seem to make the loss even bitterer. Despite the passion of the Brazilian fans, Brazil stood no chance against Germany. The outcome of their game couldn’t be much worse. Within the first 76 seconds of play, Germany scored three goals against Brazil, quickly shattering any Brazilian fans’ hope for a World Cup title. The final score of the match was a dismal 7-1.
Adding insult to injury, many soccer fans began uploading highlights of the game to Pornhub under the “public humiliation” category.
Please stop uploading the game highlights to Pornhub… Our public humiliation category is full. #BrazilvsGermany
— Pornhub Katie (@Pornhub) July 8, 2014
Despite the dreary outcome of the game, Fernandes showed some admirable sportsmanship towards a German fan at the end of the game. The heartbroken Brazilian fan handed a German girl his trophy and said, “Take it to the final! As you can see, it is not easy, but you deserve it, congratulations.”