During the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany, the television camera caught this old Brazilian man who clung to his replica World Cup trophy and wept for his home team’s loss. That moment was then shared by many on the Internet and it quickly became one of the most heartbreaking World Cup moments.
But, have you ever wondered who that old man is and what happened to him after the match?
As it turns out, Clovis Fernandes, who is better known as Gaúcho da Copa was pretty well known in Brazil as he has been supporting the team since the first ever World Cup in Italy.
Clovis has always been fanatic about football and travelled across countries to follow the Brazil squad at the World Cup. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision when he decided to leave behind his job as a pizzeria owner and sold his restaurant. He created a support group, “Gaucho Cup”, and invited his friends to join him. To be fair, they have accompanied him to monitor Brazil in competitions like the Confederations Cup, Copa America, and the Olympics. The club was constantly renewed as not everyone could travel around like he did. Scarves, hats, breeches, and boots have always been his dress code since his first World Cup.
The most memorable year for Clovis was the year that he earned his fame through the FIFA World Cup 2002 in South Korea and Japan. At that time, that year was considered special to Clovis and his group because they witnessed the football star Ronaldo made his remarkable return after undergoing surgery and winning the World Cup title. So much so that FIFA chose him as the best fan and he has since been gaining media attention.
This man and his replica World Cup trophy has appeared in various newspapers worldwide and he even posed with tourists who recognised him. He was paid by the state government of Rio Grande do Sul for his trip to various football matches including the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa and the 2010 World Cup. He once mentioned in an interview that he was sent to promote gaúcho culture and has always travelled with partners.
Although he is now known as the “saddest man in Brazil”, what happened after the match was truly amazing and inspiring. While it’s not verified, a Reddit user has uploaded a photo of him passing his trophy to a German fan and was quoted to have said:
Take it to the final! As you can see, it is not easy, but you deserve it, congratulations.
In fact, he was seen sharing his trophy with everyone who wanted to take pictures with him, regardless of their nationality.
This is the 7th consecutive year that Clovis has attended the World Cup games and he has been to more than 150 international matches. So, it doesn’t matter if his home team has lost, because Clovis has shown everyone the true spirit of sport.
Meanwhile, Germany will face Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil final at 3am on Monday, 14th July. It’s gonna be cray cray! Get the deets here.