The query makes Clément Calvez, the event director of the Le Havre membership, smile. On the identical time, it should have been requested for the thousandth time for the reason that announcement of Brazil’s arrival, this Friday, for a pleasant towards Ghana on the Océane Stadium. “It is humorous, everybody appears very shocked that Le Havre can welcome Brazil,” he factors out as we attempt to learn the way the affair ended. Now we have to confess that we hadn’t naturally related the port metropolis of Normandy with samba, even after Adriano’s faux arrival. However this isn’t fairly the item of our strategy. Somewhat, it’s a matter of understanding the way in which the “Brazil International Tour” works, a real trademark of the group of friendlies within the Seleçao all around the world.
60 friendlies on six continents since 2012
Its origin will not be a thriller. In 2012, the Brazilian Federation (CBF) entrusted the administration of all unofficial matches to the corporate Pitch Worldwide, till the tip of this yr 2022. Nothing extraordinary in that, nationwide elections as golf equipment are many to make use of one of these service. However the London-based advertising company pushed the idea exhausting anyway, taking management of all of the extras, together with business, broadcast and sponsorship rights. A pleasant contact, after we are speaking about essentially the most well-known and most profitable soccer workforce on this planet.
For the reason that signing of the contract, Brazil has performed 60 pleasant matches, on all continents. Neymar and his band have thus carried out in Austria, Turkey, USA, Australia, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, England, South Korea, Singapore… and occasionally, even in Brazil. All skillfully orchestrated, financed by main manufacturers similar to Gillette after which Chevrolet, and documented on social networks due to a devoted Instagram account. Every match would carry a median of round $3 million (€2.70 million) gross to the CBF and its associate company, in line with an skilled estimate offered by The workforce in 2019. The determine has not been confirmed by Pitch Worldwide, which didn’t reply to our inquiries.
In fact, the actual fact of enjoying extra usually in Europe than wherever else corresponds to a sure logic. The overwhelming majority of Brazilian internationals develop on the previous continent, and due to this fact save themselves lengthy spherical journeys to South America. Within the nation, this state of affairs ended up tiring the supporters. “Individuals right here began saying, as a joke, that the Emirates Stadium [le stade d’Arsenal] was the brand new Maracana, says Brazilian journalist Luis Augusto Monaco. At first the followers have been a little bit indignant, however in the present day they obtained used to it. In truth, folks now not have an important ardour for his or her nationwide workforce. »
If the Brazilians all the time comply with the massive competitions, the Copa America and the World Cup, it has been some time since they stopped being fascinated by friendlies. “The TV viewers is way beneath what it was, continues our Brazilian colleague, based mostly in Sao Paulo. The matches are within the morning or the afternoon, individuals are not at residence. It bothers them, even when a participant from their workforce is chosen, as a result of the championship doesn’t cease at Fifa dates and it’s important to play video games with out the very best gamers. Till the Nineties, it was a supply of satisfaction to have a participant within the nationwide workforce. As we speak it’s extra disturbing than anything. »
The enterprise on retreat
Nonetheless, the excursions in Brazil can’t be decreased to a big touring circus, as can typically be imagined, the place the workers would don’t have any say within the business inclinations of a grasping advertising company. The arrival of the Seleçao in Le Havre is an instance of this. Brazil was initially attributable to face Argentina on Thursday in a replay of the World Cup qualification. The 2 nations who have already got their ticket agreed with Fifa on an outright cancellation, formalized on 16 August. A date was due to this fact freed up and an opponent and a stadium needed to be discovered as quickly as potential, not too removed from Paris, the place a pleasant match towards Tunisia had already been set for the next Tuesday. Pitch Worldwide, led by the French company Evolv Sports activities, has set its sights on the Océane stadium. Pierre Inquel, Fifa match agent and head of Evolv Sports activities, observes:
Le Havre was not the one choice. If the precedence was enterprise, they might have chosen one other opponent, with an even bigger group in France, and an even bigger stadium. Do not imagine it, the coach has extra energy than anybody within the affiliation to impose his selections. »
Affirmation with Hac. “A Brazilian delegation, with the coach and common supervisor, came visiting our services, our coaching heart, our stadium. The following day issues have been validated, explains Clément Calvez. What made the choice was actually the standard of the buildings and the land. Two months earlier than the World Cup in Qatar, this internship is essential for Tite to fine-tune the ultimate changes. The precedence was to work beneath good situations, with a membership that agrees to lease altering rooms and workrooms for its first workforce. Not such a simple job, though whenever you name your self Brazil, the doorways all the time open a little bit simpler.
One other good level raised by the supervisor of Le Havre, the listening proven by the affiliation and its company concerning the value of seats. In line with the settlement reached, they pay Hac a sum (“which is not going to disturb the funds of the membership”, he specifies with out giving additional particulars) for his or her providers, and are remunerated with the receipts from the field workplace. Nonetheless, they did not carry their large clogs by introducing pitches at a minimal of 100 euros within the “you are good, however we’re Brazil and we’re bringing some pleasure to the Decrease Norman folks” mode. Le Hac suggested a variety from 15 to 45 euros, and was adopted with out dialogue.
– These are very cheap costs. Their aim was actually that the whole lot would go effectively, that everybody can be blissful, that they might cowl their very own bills as effectively, in fact, however that the stadium can be full and that there can be a giant get together, assures Clément Calvez. It is a crucial subject for them. In fact, the tickets bought out inside just a few hours. The 25,000 seats on the Océane stadium, just like the 48,000 on the Parc des Princes, will probably be stuffed.
CBF and Pitch Worldwide thus attempt to mix the very best business pursuits and sporting imperatives. “They decide, relying on the time of the season and the competitions to be ready for,” explains Pierre Inquel, who has been involved with the Brazilians greater than as soon as. In abstract, inexperienced gentle for excursions within the Center East or Asia in a gradual interval to fill the coffers, however no extra laughter within the yr earlier than a World Cup (besides in 2013, after they solely needed to do it attributable to exemption from qualification as a number nation).
The British company would due to this fact have helped restore order to the Harlem Globetrotters, after the nefarious period of ISE, a shell firm based mostly within the Cayman Islands with which former CBF large boss Ricardo Teixeira had performed enterprise. A survey printed in 2015 by the newspaper the state had disclosed the signing of a secret settlement giving the hand of the sponsors on the checklist of gamers known as up for choice. Teixeira, caught up in numerous corruption scandals, needed to go away the submit in early 2012, after 22 years in energy.
Coach on the time of the signing of the brand new partnership, Luiz Felipe Scolari had insisted that the workers retain some weight in decision-making, simply to make sure a coherent calendar and high quality opposition, as defined in an article Telegraph dates from 2013. If the primary level appears labored out, the second is extra difficult to fulfill, particularly since UEFA launched its Nations League.
“Because the European groups are taken on each date, Brazil has few alternatives for very high-level matches, notes Carlos Mansur, a colleague from the sports activities every day. Globe. There’s a lack of selection within the preparation matches, and this drastically worries the technical workers of the Seleçao. Who will certainly have seen that for the reason that final world title in 2002, Brazil has all the time been eradicated by a European workforce. If the situation repeats itself in Qatar, Pitch Worldwide will definitely must make modifications to hope to make the model final.