Askalex 2003

JANUARY

26 January: What happened to Josimar from Mexico 86?

19 January: Congratulations on the site and the book. How successful has the book been in the UK? Did you have it translated into Portuguese?

12 January: I really like the way you describe Garrincha in your book and at last, I finally know a little bit about him. I have heard his name (the bent legs) before, but have found it very difficult to get any information on him. It sounds like he was a terrific player. It?s understandable how the Brazilian fans love him (Maybe a little bit like the emotion people get when they here the name George Best?). I forget just how big an influence Pele was at that time (and sounds like he still is). This is a hard thing to imagine but do you think Garrincha?s career might have been different if the Pele phenomenon had never happened?

05 January: Just finished your book, Ricardo Teixeira seems like a real character. Is he still running the CBF? (I hope not). Even the suggestion that Pele may be involved in some form corruption breaks my heart. I’m based in the US; the Enron, Arthur Andersen events are still a regular fixture in the media. Maybe it’s the timing?, but I am only just becoming aware of just how much corruption and poor club management exists in world football.

FEBRUARY

26 February: My name is Roger Clinton. I represent Sheffield FC – THE OLDEST FOOTBALL CLUB IN THE WORLD. We are only a small club here in England but are very keen to make contacts worldwide. What would be the best way to speak to the oldest club in Brazil?

25 February: Don’t know if you’ve ever met Kleberson? Why hasn’t he already been sold to a European club? What’s he been doing since the World Cup?

09 February: I am an Internacional (Porto Alegre) fan here in UK, we were nearly relegated this season. What teams are being promoted and what are the changes to next years club calender as I understand every team plays each other twice in the N.C.

02 February: I would like to know more about the Manaus Football tournament ‘the Big Kickabout’ (O Peladao). Where can I get info? When will it be the next time? Any websites or mail addresses available?

MARCH

30 March: I am very keen to know who are the future stars of Brazilian football. I am aware of players like Robhino, Kaka and Diego but do you think there are others out there that have just as much promise?

30 March: re the Pele film mentioned in your interview with him. You say that unusual archive material has been found: do you know if this includes the Gol da Placa? I heard that film of Pele’s greatest goal was destroyed by fire many years ago. Have you seen it or spoken to anyone who has (apparently, it was used in a famous coffee commercial for a while).

22 March: As I read the brazilian papers on the web, there is one thing that appears rather strange. What is actually happening to the police investigations that(supposedly) follow the two CPIs? Brazilian papers say that the Ministerio Publico is investigating the cases, but there is never any information about how far these investigations have gone, or if any of the cases are brought to court. My questions are two-fold: 1. Are there any news of the post-CPI investigations performed by the police/MP? 2. Do you honestly think that any person criminalized by the CPI report will ever be punished?

15 March: What club did Gilberto Silva play for before he signed for Arsenal? I recently went to Brazil and although he is much loved, I got conflicting answers as to who he played for.

10 March: we went travelling around South America and used your book so by the time we reached our ultimate destination, Brazil, we could chat to people about the beautiful game and whether Garrincha was better than Pele (from the people we spoke to the answer still seemed to be Pele which was disappointed us as Garrincha sounds much cooler). Anyway on our trips to the Maracana we noticed the Flamengo fans fly Union Jacks with ‘Jovem’ written on them, we couldn’t find out what this was about could you help. Oh and can you tell Amin that Vasco suck.

10 March: Are you planning on adding a new chapter to the book covering the 2002 Japan Korea World cup? Even with the poignancy of focussing on Teixeira and the CBF, I feel it would be a fitting end to a fantastic book making it the ‘definitive’ book about Brazilian futebol.

04 March: Alex, what happened with the Gavioes da Fiel? I see they have a current website.

01 March: I enjoyed your book. I have a question about the story on pages 199-201 of the dog called Biriba that peed on one of the Botafogo player’s legs. Botafogo won the match and, thereafter, Botafogo’s president “demanded that before each match Biriba should pee on the same leg.” Botafogo subsequently won the 1948 state chamoionship. Question: how did Botafogo get the dog to pee on the player’s leg before every game?

APRIL

30 April: Why was Eder left out of the Brazil 1986 World Cup team?

29 April: From where comes the name of the Copa Libertadores?

13 April: Which team in Brazil do you support? Did researching the book change any of your perceptions about certain clubs or fans?

06 April: Just reading your brilliant book, thank you for such a fascinating glimpse of Brazil. It really reflects what Simon Kuper wrote about football being one of the best ways to understand the daily life of a country. I have two enquiries. Firstly about Socrates – I have often heard the urban legend that he was a medical student here in Ireland. I’ve heard two versions of the story – in one he was studying for a time in the Royal College of Surgeons, asked one day if there was any football around and was sent out to play with Bohemians reserves. The other has him in my own alma mater University College Dublin and winning the Collingwood Cup, an inter collegiate football tournament while here. I would be very grateful if you could tell me if there is any truth to either story. Secondly, a common story here in Ireland is that Pele’s nickname derives from “peile”, the Gaelic for football (more usually the Gaelic version), which Irish nuns gave the young Edson. I know in the book you write that the origin of Pele is unknown, and I recall Pele in interviews saying he didn’t know himself, but just another theory you mightn’t have heard before. Finally, its only polite to tell you that I write occasional articles for the Irish medical press, I was thinking of maybe pitching a brief one about your book focusing on the Socrates angle.

MAY

26 May: I read your book and I thought it was superb. I am soon coming to Brazil to work in a rainforest preservation centre some 200 miles North-west of Rio. I just wondered if there was one particular football related thing that I should do or see while I’m in Brazil, besides the obvious? Also is Ronaldo’s R9 club in Leblon still open? Secondly is it worth going to?

19 May: We are all so used to Brazilians playing futebol in Europe but are there any Europeans playing in Brazil?? I have heard of Peruvian and Argentinean players playing there, but never Europeans? And how do the Brazilians view the foreigners playing in Brazil? are they protective like the European supporters initially were?

10 May: I first read your book last summer (2002) and found it fascinating and informative. I picked it up again the other day and as I flicked through I wondered what ever became of Messias Pereira, Marcelo Marcolino and Marlon Jorge. Are they still playing in the Faroes? Are any of them eligible to play for their adopted country (I seem to recall Marcelo saying he would like to)? And what of Robson? Has he resumed his football career?

04 May: Can you tell us some more about Hibs visit to Brazil in the 1950s. That trip introduced Hibs’ great forward line of the Famous Five to Brazilian clubs and led them to form teams with five attackers. I know Hibs were instrumental in creating the conditions for sides like Botafogo to put Garrincha, Didi, Zagalo, Quarentina and Paulo Valentim up front but anything more you can tell us about Hibs’ influence in making Brazil great would be welcomed.

JUNE

29 June: After resignation in 1970 I have not hear a word about Joao Saldania? What he was doing? Is he alive? Where can I see his photo online?

22 June: The football club Vasco da Gama have the cross Patee as their club symbol. What is the history/reason behind their use of this symbol? Although there is info on the web about the cross patee and it’s origins i can find nothing (in English) about it’s link to the football club Vasco da Gama. Also, it would be helpful if you could explain the 6 stars often seen above the Vasco da Gama cross patee. One explanantion i have come across is that they represent the championship won in 1945 and the five since but it is unclear to me what championship is being referred to as i believe they have won the Brazilian championship only 4 times and the state championship 21 (not 6) times.

16 June: Could you tell me what happened to tour namesake alex who captained the olympic team in sydney?

08 June: Could you tell me which Garrinchas leg was shorter and how did that affect on his dribbling skills?

08 June: I will be traveling to Rio this August and would love to go to the Maracana stadium to see an exciting football match with my family. Does the stadium have a web site? where can i find the schedules and book tickets in advance?

01 June: What happened to Renata Alves after her involvement in the scandals regarding former national coach Luxemburgo ?? One would suspect that she now has her own talk-show and is a major figure in Brazilian public life….

JULY

27 July: I am a norwegian author writing a novel about a student. In a chapter he is wacthing a football match, which leads him into thoughts about this game. He then comments upon “the beautiful game”, the brazilian way of playing it (at least once), as Pele, and I qoute, “Football? It’s the beautiful game” said the Brazilian footballer, Pele (http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/ quotations/quotefrom/football/), called it. However, I do not want the English translation, but the portugese/brazilian original for: the beautifull game. Hope you can help.

27 July: Having looked at your fixture list I see I’m in Rio when Vasco are playing at home (an evening game). Do you know if I can just pick up a ticket on the gate (I’m so used to English Premiership ticket only matches!).

21 July: Who was the first brazilian player to play in a foreign club?

13 July: Do you know what type of bird the Flamengo mascot is meant to be and whether there is any significance in its choice?

06 July: I heard that by the end of his career Garrincha played for Flamengo. How successful was he there? And one more: How successful was Garrincha- Joao Saldanha cooperation in Botafogo? Did he ever played for other teams too? – I heard he continued playing till 1982, is that true?

AUGUST

30 August: Why is there five stars on the flamengo top. And why is one of the stars gold and the other four white.

17 August: We will be in Rio for Carnaval ’04 and would like to catch a game at Maracana. This looks like it’s off-season would there be any pre-season game in Maracan in February (between the 15th and 25th)?

17 August: Some of the images used in your brilliant book are outstanding. Could you tell me where you got the image of Socrates with a packed stadium behind him? I’d love to get a copy of it.

10 August: What is the home city of the Brazilian national team?

02 August: The book is excellent. A friend and I have rented an apartment in Botafogo next Jan And Feb 2004 ( we live in New York City )My stupid question is what are the dates of the Brazilian soccer season.

SEPTEMBER

21 September: What is the latest news on the greatest Brazilian forward in the last twenty years,” ROMARIO DE SOUZA FARIA”?

14 September: Alex – I am reading your excellent book on God’s own futebol country!! Do you have any other projects planned insofar as they relate to futebol brasileiro please?

06 September: I see on Amazon.co.uk that you have written a book on Garrincha. Can you tell me about it?

OCTOBER

19 October: I would like to know what `KAKA` means in Brazil. I am a fan of AC Milan, and KAKA. In Italy, CACCA means,,,,,,,,,,,,,,coco(in Brazil). This nickname has special meaning in Brazil? Is it Bird name?

12 October: I see you are talking at a conference in London. It looks really interesting but my mate thinks its 40 quid to get in. Can this be true? And if it is, can you get us in free?

NOVEMBER

22 November: Alex can you tell us anything about Charles Miller life in Brazil and when did he die, does he have family live in Brazil today and have any of his comment on Brazilian Football.

16 November: I would like to know more about the Ibis club from Recife. Whilst in Brazil I was regularly told that they were ‘the worst team in the world’. What have they done to deserve such a harsh judgment???

09 November: Are there any football matches at the maracana stadium in January 2004? How long does the football season last until in Brazil?

01 November: Who is the highest goal scorer for Fluminense?

DECEMBER

28 December: Have Brazil ever capped a player born in another country?

26 December: Who is the leading goal scorer in the league now? What has happened to Alex of Palmeiras he showed a lot of promise but he no longer features for Brazil? What is the mail address of the Fortaleza football club?

14 December: Who was the first black player to play for Vasco da Gama?

07 December: I am writing an article about the CBF Nike. I have used your book as a source although my main source is the book by Aldo Rebelo and Silvio Torres. I lived in Belo Horizonte last year and interviewed some respected journalists but I was just wondering if you could recommend any other books or websites where I could find relevant and up to date information.

01 December: What is Autoball?

01 December: Is Gomes the goalie for the Brazilian national team?

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