For those of you keen on attending a soccer/football (futebol in Portuguese) match while in Brazil, here’s the 2009 league calendar.
The teams taking part on this year’s first division are, grouped by states (in brackets, after the name of the team, the city and the stadium where they usually play):
- BAHIA: Vitória (Salvador, Barradão).
- GOIÁS: Goiás (Goiânia, Serra Dourada).
- MINAS GERAIS: Atlético Mineiro (Belo Horizonte, Mineirão), Cruzeiro (Belo Horizonte, Mineirão).
- PARANÁ: Atlético Paranaense (Curitiba, Kyocera Arena, aka Arena da Baixada), Coritiba (Curitiba, Couto Pereira).
- PERNAMBUCO: Náutico (Recife, Aflitos), Sport (Recife, Ilha do Retiro).
- RIO DE JANEIRO: Botafogo (Río de Janeiro, João Havelange, aka Engenhão), Flamengo (Río de Janeiro, Maracanã), Fluminense (Río de Janeiro, Maracanã) and Vasco (Río de Janeiro, São Januário).
- RIO GRANDE DO SUL: Grêmio (Porto Alegre, Olímpico), Internacional (Porto Alegre, Beira-Rio).
- SANTA CATARINA: Avaí (Florianópolis, Ressacada).
- SÃO PAULO: Barueri (Barueri, Arena Barueri), Corinthians (São Paulo, Pacaembú), Palmeiras (São Paulo, Palestra Itália, aka Parque Antártica), Santo André (Santo André, Bruno José Daniel), Santos (Santos, Vila Belmiro) and São Paulo (São Paulo, Morumbi).
I’ve prepared a GoogleMaps mash-up with the main 1st division soccer stadiums in Brazil:
A few clarifications:
- the Brazilian league is known as the Brasileirão
- unless there is another ongoing competition (Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana) there is usually a round of games during the week (Wednesdays or Thursdays) and another one during the weekend (Saturdays or Sundays). During the weekend all matches are usually played at the same time, either four o’clock or six o’clock.
- unlike the European national championships, the Brasileirão begins in May and ends in December. Halfway through the season, coinciding with the beginning of the European leagues, there is a real exodus of players, bought by European and Asian clubs. Often the squad that begins the league is quite different from the one that finishes it.
- at local derbys (clásicos) emotions run high. You are advised to be careful, as violent clashes between rival fans are frequent, especially on the way to the stadium. Get away from conflict as fast as you can, the police do not deal with troublemakers on a kind fashion.
- in general tickets are much more affordable than in Europe.