From Brazil to Australia

Hyundai A-League fan Luis Gigliucci came to Australia from Brazil and sees some major differences in football culture.

Hyundai A-League fan Luis Gigliucci came to Australia from Brazil and sees some major differences in football culture, but he believes things are improving.

In 2004 I and my wife decided to move from Brazil to Australia. We got our permanent resident visas in 2005 but by some changes in my professional situation we-ve postponed our move to early 2008.

Since I had those 2 years of waiting before arriving Australia I started looking at the football competition here. We had plans to move to Brisbane since it would be cheaper for us while we were looking for jobs.

Therefore I got interested in the Queensland Roar and started following them. I have even bought a jersey on eBay – the seller even contacted me asking for help to start distributing those shirts there – what made me think that I was the first one to buy it in Brazil!

I and my wife arrived in Sydney (we changed plans since we got jobs before arriving) on February 2008. Then I-ve got my first disappointment with Football here.

I was at a friend-s home and I asked him if he could turn the TV on and select the channel showing the A-League. He answered: “Of course I can!” – This made me happy but he continued – “But I don-t think it is showing on the free-to-air channels.” He turned it on, searched, searched and nothing.

To watch the A-League you have to have pay TV. How come the main Australia football competition doesn-t show on free-to-air TV? I hope it will change soon and I am sure that it is a keystone to football development in Australia.

My second disappointment was at work. I tried to talk to everyone about football but no one was following the A-League. They could talk for hours about the English Premier League or the Champions League but not about my Queensland Roar.

One general comment was that they don-t follow the A-League because of the matches- quality. I found it quite strange since the matches (and I can tell that watch all of them) are normally quite good and disputed.

Of course they are not as good as the ones in Brazil or Europe but they are getting there and what is important is that they are really enjoyable.

I finally found one person in the company that I work to talk about A-League. And it is amazing since he knows more than I do and gives me lots of information. Luckily some of them do not really happen like when he said that Postecoglou would be moving to Melbourne after winning the A-League last year!

I was really impressed in the Round 2 of the 2009-10 season. Brisbane Roar (already using the new name) drew 3-3 with Melbourne Victory in a top quality match full of great goals.

In my opinion (as a Brisbane Roar supporter of course) the greatest moment in the A-League was the way that Brisbane Roar won the Grand Final last season. I was alone at home (my wife and our 18-month son were travelling) and I couldn-t believe that Brisbane would lose the title after everything they did from the beginning of the competition and to see Brisbane Roar coming back from that deep hole was simply sensational.

I really regret not having taken a flight that day. It was one of the most exiting matches of my life. The tactics used during that grand final were crucial to the Mariners lead and Brisbane comeback.

I am sure that Football in Australia will grow and get better in the years to come. And I am looking forward to seeing Australia having chances of winning a world cup!