Supporter Sunday: AZ fan in Brazil

Published on 11 oktober 20, 09:03

ALKMAAR- For a section on our website, called Supporter Sunday, we speak with AZ fans from all around the world. In this edition: Welington Souza (21), from Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. “I watched FC Utrecht - AZ on my phone during the Copa Libertadores final.”

The distance between his hometown of Santo Antônio de Padua - Rio de Janeiro to the AFAS Stadium is approximately 9,421 kilometres. Visiting a home game would take a twelve hour flight.

Became a real fan
“I used to play ‘Brasfoot’ when I was younger. That is a simulation game where you are the manager of a football club. At some point during the game, I got offered a job at AZ Alkmaar. The players seemed to have a lot of potential, so I decided to take the position. I ended up being very successful with AZ and because of that, I got really interested in the club. At first, I would follow their results through a live score app, but after a while, I found myself actually watching most of the matches live. Eventually, I became a real fan.”

Homegrown players
“What I like most about AZ is how the club plays with so many homegrown players. A lot of eyecatchers in the team are from the youth academy. Also, I really like the attacking style of play. We always play to win, even against higher placed opponents. I admire that in this club.”

“Following AZ over here in Brazil can be quite a challenge. FOX Sports and ESPN own the broadcasting rights for the Eredivisie, and they usually show two games per round. Unfortunately for me, they almost always choose games of Ajax, PSV or Feyenoord, so when AZ is not playing one of them, I rely on livestreams on the internet. I then pray that my livestream keeps working, but I make it work. It is definitely a dream of mine to one day watch a match live in the AFAS Stadium.”

Most memorable matches
“There have been many memorable matches in the last few years, but two really stand out for me. Firstly, the match against Partizan Belgrade, when we drew them 2-2. We were down two goals when Myron got sent off. Somehow we stood up and scored two, in the 87th and 92nd minute, to ensure the second place in the group and the next round in the Europa League. The second match is the 1-0 win over Ajax last season, when Myron scored a late winner. I really went crazy when that happened. Who knows what would have happened if the Eredivisie had not been ended prematurely.”

Favourite players
“My favourite Brazilian player at AZ is, without a doubt, Ari. I know all Brazilians that ever played at AZ, I have done my research, but what I saw from Ari really impressed me. My favourite player in the current squad is Fredrik Midtsjø. I enjoy his style of playing and his sheer will to win. Bizot impresses me as well, he is going through a difficult time at the moment, but last year he was so good. I hope he finds back his form soon.”

“Dutch football is ahead of Brazilian football in my opinion, because the attacking style of playing is part of the Dutch culture. Even the small clubs usually try to play attractive football, which makes for enjoyable games to watch. However, the passion and sensation over here in Brazil are better than in the Netherlands. We are definitely ahead of you on that.”

Welington owns and curates a Brazilian Twitterpage about AZ: @AZBrasilAlkmaar. “Because I was talking about AZ so much, my friends suggested I would start a Twitter page about the club. That way, I could tell everything I wanted about my passion and reach other AZ fans at the same time. Through my Twitter page I have met Alkmaarders in Brazil and made other people fall in love with AZ.”

Huge fan
“In Brazil, I support Flamengo. When AZ played FC Utrecht last year, Flamengo was playing the final of the Copa Libertadores. So I was standing there, in the crowd, watching Flamengo playing the final and watching AZ on my phone at the same time. They both won, so my day could not get any better.”

Earlier editions
Read earlier editions of Supporter Sunday here.

Text: Bas Beerepoot / AZ Media
Picture: Welington Souza