A story by Jamie Megarry on our growing support in Brazil.
The late great journalist Malcolm Brodie MBE once quipped, “If a man lands on Mars for what he thinks is the first time, he will realise that a Linfield fan has been there before him.” This is a good summary of the passion that thousands have for Linfield Football Club and the fact that it comes from many places. Blue men and women who are active on social media may have been intrigued to have seen a page on platforms Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by the name of ‘Linfield Brasil’ - a page which posts about love for Linfield.
We have been catching up with the man behind it to get an insight into his love for Linfield and discover why he set up the fan page.
“My name is Gabriel dos Santos Amorim, I am 26 years old and I currently live in Minaçu in the Brazilian state of Goiás. I discovered Linfield on February 10, 2019 after I was researching European championships, as I ended up looking over the Northern Irish premiership and Linfield appeared as one of the world’s most successful clubs. It was where I became interested in the club, and then I decided to start up my own fan page within days, because I was obsessed with what I had discovered.
“I love everything about Linfield – its history, its passionate fans, its cast and players, the board, the entire management and media team, and its wonderful and beautiful stadium. The humility and the way all Linfield supporters online received me and embraced me has been touching. Currently, I follow all updates via Instagram and Twitter, and I follow the games through Google in real time here in Brazil.
“It is my greatest desire to go to Windsor Park and meet you all and be welcomed. Now with the three pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I also want to create a YouTube channel in the future to help the club grow in Brazil every day so that people here realise how amazing the club is. I want to do as much work as I can to spread the word of Linfield here in Brazil. I thank God for putting this wonderful club in my life. I am honoured to be part of the Linfield family. Watching the video highlights every week, I love the football we play and David Healy has created a team full of warriors. I was so pleased to see Linfield crowned champions. Congratulations to the team, staff, management, board, fans and everyone involved.”
We’ve also been catching up with another Brazilian blue. Alexandre Salimeni is from Rio de Janeiro, and he explained how he fell in love with Linfield.
“I have always loved British football. I've always been in love! I started collecting football jerseys from the United Kingdom and that's where I got to know Northern Irish football. Through the football shirts I got to know each story about the clubs in Northern Ireland and I was enchanted by the classic ‘Big Two’! And naturally, I fell in love with the blue side of Belfast, Linfield!
“I love Linfield for being one of the oldest clubs in the world and for being the great force in Northern Ireland. I am also passionate about the history and tradition that Linfield possess. I follow Linfield on Twitter or through the 365 Score app. I'm always following the club wherever I go to check if they’re winning. It's my dream to someday be able to get to know Northern Ireland and be able to watch a Linfield game and make more and more friends out there!
“I was very happy to know that there is this page on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If he hadn't, I would have started it! The more Linfield fans in Brazil the better! Here where I live I don't know people who follow Linfield, but I have friends who like the club a lot and yes, it would be perfect to be able to see the crowd grow here. Audaces Fortuna Juvat.”
Furthermore, Brazilian Twitter user @bitnerL has also been in touch to explain his interesting story as to how he started to follow Linfield.
“I was playing Championship Manager 2000/01, the computer game where you can manage a team. I wanted to start with a smaller League I decided to go with Linfield and had a blast playing in the Northern Ireland Premiership. That was around 20 years ago!
“I love that Linfield are the joint most successful Club now in the whole world of football. I also recall them pulling off some great results in European campaigns many years ago, and I hope that last year’s run leads to continued success.
“I am always following all the news and updates through Twitter. I used to watch all the highlights on the BBC webpage, but that seems to be blocked to us in Brazil now. I really want to go to Europe and do a stadia tour, and Windsor Park would be on my list.
“It’s nice to see the Linfield Brasil pages start as a lot of professional Clubs have Brazilian accounts. As a country we aren’t very good at English, so pages like that are great to help give us news about European clubs that we like to follow online. I am hoping to get a Linfield shirt, but it’s hard to get in Brazil.”
It’s great to see these guys feeling the same passion that all our followers can relate to. It would be great to see all three make their dream visits to Windsor Park some day. Keep up the good work, lads, and who knows, maybe we’ll have an official Brazilian Linfield Supporters Club in future! Some further links to Brazil are Flamengo, who’ll always hold a place in Linfield’s hearts after coming to Windsor Park to mark the Club’s centenary with a friendly fixture in 1986. Fans of a certain era might also recall former player Eric Feca who was also Brazilian, and in more recent times, Pablo Andrade who played for Linfield Swifts but despite featuring in a first team friendly, never made a competitive debut.
Above: Gabriel dos Santos Amorim, the man behind the 'Linfield Brasil' fan page trying to grow Linfield support in Brazil.
Above: Alexandre Salimeni, a Brazilian with immense passion for Linfield and British football
Above: Linfield's centenary friendly with Brazilian giants Flamengo.