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Brazil’s saddest fan offers lesson in sportsmanship

Despite his grief at Brazil’s loss, superfan Clóvis Fernandes was gracious to Germans in the stands.


Despite his grief at Brazil’s loss, superfan Clóvis Fernandes was gracious to Germans in the stands.

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The so-called saddest fan in Brazil offered a powerful lesson in classy sportsmanship during his country’s humiliating defeat Tuesday against Germany in the World Cup. Images of Clóvis Fernandes — a superfan who is also known as “Gáucho da Copa” and a well-known fixture in the stands — were seen around the world; his emotions escalated as quickly as the stunning German goal count. There he was cuddling a replica FIFA World Cup trophy with a big smile on his face — and then crying in despair as he mourned the 7-1 loss. Strikingly, Fernandes gave away his trophy to a German fan sitting nearby, reportedly saying: “Take it to the final . . . You deserve it, congratulations!” Other Brazilian fans joined in congratulating Germany. Brazil was the favorite, and its wounded fans must now take some solace in being passionate hosts for the World Cup. If nothing else, this tournament has prompted the famously soccer-mad country to discuss its social struggles and reflect on its priorities. Brazil is out of the World Cup, but its soul searching may just be beginning.

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