With the economic crisis, the planet still coming out of the pandemic, several wars going on – particularly the one in Ukraine that is somehow impacting everyone around the world, the devalued exchange rate and inflation all over the globe hampering the quality of life; watching a World Cup on the spot has become even more of a distant dream for the overwhelming majority of Brazilians.
However, the story seems entirely different for Brazilians living in Australia.
The country’s strong exchange rate and full employment, combined with the highest minimum wage in the world, make the dream of accompanying the national team to Qatar a reality, both for students and those who are already consolidated in their professional fields in Down Under.
This is the case of Rander Ferreira from Perth.
Born in Sumaré, he was a bank clerk in Brazil. But when he came to Australia to improve his English, he changed careers and liked the experience of cutting hair.
He then studied the trade, opened his salon in Perth and soon got many clients. According to Rander, it was there that the doors to the World Cup opened for him.
Barber Rander Ferreira, from Perth: the dream of the first cup came true in a conversation with a client in the salon.
“It was funny how things happened: I have many clients in my salon, and I spend all day talking with them. I told one of those clients I wanted to go to the World Cup but never had the opportunity. Coincidentally, he had applied and got the pass for one of the games – Argentina vs Saudi Arabia. He then ended up selling it to me, and soon after, I booked the trip accommodation in time”.
Rander is traveling with his wife Renata, and in addition to the Argentina game, he will also see Brazil’s debut against Serbia.
He feels that if he lived in Brazil and worked as a barber enjoying life as he does in Australia, he would not be able to fulfill his dream again.
“It costs an average of $10,000, around 35,000 Brazilian ´reais´. Also, the trip to Qatar from Brazil is even more expensive.”
Honestly, as a barber in Brazil, I would not be able to make this trip because the price is too high.
Rander Ferreira, from Perth
“Plus, the salaries in Brazil don’t keep up with expenses. 10,000 Australian dollars for someone living here is not too much as we are paid in Australian dollars. I wouldn’t be able to have that money for the World Cup if I lived in Brazil.”
Vitor Domingues is a student in Perth.
In Australia for three years, I worked in marketing in Rio de Janeiro. Today he studies Business and works at a car rental shop.
Vitor Domingues, a Perth student, will watch 14 matches at the World Cup in Qatar.
This is the first World Cup he has traveled to watch on the spot, and he decided to go just five months ago.
He paid little by little and will watch 14 games in Qatar. For him, going to the World Cup is an opportunity of a lifetime that living in Australia has opened up for him.
“If I were in Brazil, living how I lived there before I came to Australia, I would not be able to organize a World Cup in such a short time and watch so many games.”
This is an opportunity that Australia gives you. Your purchasing power is excellent, even on a minimum wage, as long as you make an effort and organize yourself properly.
Vitor Domingues, from Perth.
“I am a student and manage to do this; in Brazil, I certainly couldn’t.”
If Rander and Vitor are going for the first time, there are undoubtedly many Brazilians in Australia who are veterans attending the World Cup on the spot.
Vladimir Costa, 43 years old, is just an example of that.
From the state of Minas Gerais, he is the consul of the Atlético-MG fans in Sydney.
Since 2004, he has worked in Information Technology in Australia and is going to his fifth men’s soccer World Cup this year.
Interestingly, the seed of coming to live in Australia was planted after the frustration of not being able to go to the World Cup in South Korea and Japan in 2002.
Vladimir Costa during Brazil vs Australia of the German Cup, in 2006, in Munich: Qatar will be his fifth World Cup.
“It all started in 2002. I failed to watch the World Cup in Japan and Korea. At that time, I was still living in Brazil, and the internet was not sufficiently good to get information and buy tickets. Because I couldn’t get a ticket, I was afraid of not being able to get one (over there) to see the games. I ended up giving up at the last minute and investing part of that money to come to Australia in 2004.”
In 2006, already a permanent resident in Australia, he finally fulfilled his dream by going to the German Cup. And from that year on, he never stopped.
“In 2006, already in Australia, the opportunity to go to the German Cup arose. I couldn’t get a ticket, but I still went anyway. Once I got there, I bought a ticket for each of the Brazil games in the first phase of the competition. My first cup was terrific, an incredible experience.”
And there (in Germany in 2006), I decided to go to every World Cup until the last day of my life.
Vladimir Costa, from Sydney.
“In 2010, I went to the South African Cup. It was fantastic because South Africa is a big country, and I had the opportunity to travel around it in a motorhome. Then I went to Brazil in 2014. It was amazing. Brazil is the country of football, and it was awesome to witness the party there. Then I went to the World Cup in Russia, a gigantic country where I made many friends and watched most of Brazil’s matches. This time around, I’m going to Qatar -my fifth World Cup. And I think it will be incredible, especially because this competition is happening in an Arab country for the first time.”
Vladimir’s Ozzy-Brazilian world cup troupe includes the carioca José Marcio Santos. In Australia, since 2002, he has owned an events company in Sydney. Qatar will be his fourth World Cup.
José Marcio Santos and Vladimir Costa at the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
“I have a friend who encouraged me a lot and said – come on, you’re going to get hitched – and I kept seeing those photos, almost ‘hallucinating’. Thank God I fulfilled this dream, and I got addicted.”
In each World Cup, we meet many people with the same vibe. We match the next one and live a different emotion each time.
José Marcio Santos, from Sydney.
“To participate in this event is the coolest thing, especially in the competition’s group stage, where you get to see all the teams. After the round of 16, the number of teams decreases and consequently, the number of fans decreases as well. It is magical, absolutely magical, to participate in the World Cup. I recommend it to everyone, football lovers or not. I could not be more excited, thrilled to be a part of it, thank God.”
Rui Ferrari has lived in Australia since 2005. Born in Vila Velha, he is a train traffic controller in Sydney.
He is thrilled with the opportunity to accompany both the Brazilian and Australian teams.
After the Socceroos qualified for this World Cup, he decided to travel to Qatar. And he will now see nothing less than 23 matches in loco.
“I am very grateful for everything that Australia has given me. (…) Australia beat Peru, and I said it was the opportunity of my life. I always dreamed of going to the World Cup.”
I’m very Australian, and I’m very grateful for everything Australia has given me so far. I wanted to have the opportunity to watch Brazil games, of course, but I wanted to see Australia playing too.
Rui Ferrari, from Sydney.
“It just clicked for me to go to the World Cup when Australia qualified.”
A fanatic Corinthians fan, Rui Ferrari did not have an easy childhood and never saw the national team in Brazil. He first saw a Corinthians game at the stadium at the Club World Cup in Japan in 2012. And now he goes to the World Cup to see 23 World Cup games.
He is thrilled with Qatar’s unprecedented logistical ease in this World Cup.
Rui Ferrari wants to watch all matches played by Brazil and Australia in the first phase of the 2022 World Cup.
This World Cup in Qatar is an exceptional event. It will be the first time in the history of the Cup that all countries and all games will be in the same city. I bought tickets for 23 games.
Rui Ferrari, from Sydney.
“I will watch all of Australia’s and Brazil’s matches and have two games daily. It will be as follows: finishing a game, taking a bus (an hour on a bus), and I will be in another stadium. This had never happened before . I know friends who went to Russia and had to stay 20 hours on a train to see Brazil play.”
Will these Brazilians return to Australia from Qatar with the Hexa in their luggage? We can only know that on December 19th, the day of the final.
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