By: Bella Papadopoulou.
One of the “Itacaréan’s” favorite Sunday activities is to watch the annual beach football league at Praia da Coroinha, an event that brings people from all ages and neighborhoods together in a cheering atmosphere.
The Football League has attracted local residents and tourists for 18 years, making it the most important competition of the city. Every Sunday afternoon, people gather around the sand field to watch the goals and witness one of the most beautiful sunsets in Brazil.
“I really enjoy coming here each Sunday and share this feeling with all my friends. It is a very good thing for our society” says local resident, Jorge Gazo.
Arnaldo Santos Silva is the main organizer of the league and says that everything is based on volunteer support.
“All the work we do is voluntary and we have players from 5 to 18 years. We do a kind of social work for the sake of sport activity in the city” Santos says.
Nildo Malhado has been training with his team for this league and proves to be one of the favorites among the crowd this year. He also believes that the level of the games is increasing every passing year.
“Itacare is a place where a lot of people enjoy and are involved in various sports, a league like this increases the mood of the city,” says Nildo.
While the players show their moves on the sand, children play around with a ball of their own. Among them was young David Nascimento, a loyal fan of the league that never misses a game.
“I always meet my friends here on Sunday. I think it’s important to have actions like this one in the city in order to keep the youth away from drugs and other crimes,” says David.
But this is not just an entertainment for locals. Tourists from all around the world gather at the bay of the beach in order to follow the games and enjoy a cold Brazilian beer. English Tom Fry spent his Sunday evening watching the games, enjoying the excitement in the air.
“This is so much fun! I’ve been at other beach football games in Rio de Janeiro as well, but this one is a hundred times better. The atmosphere is very good and the level of the football is high”, says Tom.