The Gringo in Bahia: International Competition

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Back after a very successful first week, I was extremely happy with the results and feedback from my post.  Many friends, fans and other players called me to congratulate me and to say they had enjoyed reading it, while others said they need to study more English before being able to read my column in SWOL.

Once again we are in our “concentration” at the hotel getting ready for a game.  This week the opponent will be Sao Paulo FC, ​​one of Brazil’s most successful clubs over the last decade.  It will be a playoff game tomorrow with the winner moving on to the next stage.

The game will also be our debut in the Copa Sul-Americana (“South American Cup”), the tournament which brings together teams from 10 countries of South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Teams qualify for the tournament and are grouped according to their classifications in their respective national championships.

It is very special for our team, Esporte Clube Bahia, as it is our return to an international competition after a 23 year absence.  The last appearance was in the 1989 Copa Libertadores, a year after winning the domestic Brazilian Championship in 1988.

Winning the 2008 Copa Sul-Americana Championship with Internacional

Personally, I’ve played in this competion a few times throughout my career.  In 2008, as a player for S.C. Internacional of Porto Alegre, we won the championship by defeating Argentine side, Estudiantes, in the final.  It was the first and only time that a Brazilian team has won this championship.

Let me know if you have any questions about the competition and I’ll try to answer as soon as possible.

Have a great week.

- The Gringo in Bahia

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