It has been an extremely cold week in São Paulo.
Temperatures started to drop on Monday, and from Tuesday (17) until now, early in the morning of Friday (20), the days were freezing and the nights glacial.
As I write, the computer informs me that it is 7°C. As I love the heat, I feel like I’m in an igloo. Brrrrrr
As a young man, on my trips to the stadium in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I faced some very cold nights in the stands, of that type. You had to really like the team to honor it.
I wonder what it’s like for a professional football player. Are there those who feel good when performing in very low temperatures?
In Brazil, hardly, although in the South, at certain times of the year, there is no alternative. And then it’s not a matter of liking it, but of facing it, as in countries whose territory is far from the Equator.
Amateur that I am, I play a few games on Saturday mornings, and the cold is not a friend to the quorum. The list of this next one is still incomplete, and I am sure that the reason for the lack of names is another lack, that of courage, to wake up early and face the unpleasant weather.
In this context, to “warm up the brain”, I decided to check the football matches that were played at very low temperatures. Below, well below 0°C.
I found some, and the Brazilian team appears as one of the teams that were in the game with a record of cold – stressing that the survey I did was based on texts from communication vehicles.
In March 2006, in preparation for the World Cup in Germany, the team led by Carlos Alberto Parreira traveled to Moscow for a friendly against Russia.
At Lokomotiv Stadium, Brazil won 1-0, a goal by Ronaldo Fenômeno. The thermometers registered -17°C. Freezing. The national team reserves spent the game wrapped in blankets.
After almost 16 years, another duel, this time in North America, recorded the same temperature: -17°C. It was on February 2nd at Allianz Field in Minnesota.
For the Concacaf Qualifiers (which aggregates countries from North and Central America, plus the Caribbean) for the Qatar World Cup, the USA received Honduras.
Much more used to the cold than their opponents – of the 11 holders, 7 live in the Central American country, with a minimum temperature in the year of 18°C –, the North Americans won easily, by 3 to 0.
Two athletes from Honduras, goalkeeper Luis López and striker Romell Quioto, showed symptoms of hypothermia and had to be replaced at halftime between the first and second half.
USA coach Gregg Berhalter, 48, sympathized with opponents, but commented on the opposite situation.
“When are we going to play in these countries [tropicais], we face 32°C and unbearable humidity. Players get cramps and become dehydrated.” For him, the “nature” of football sometimes imposes undesirable weather conditions.
At least two other matches with temperatures below -10°C that took place in this century are known.
One of them took place in Trondheim (Norway), where in December 2010 Rosenborg lost 1-0 to the German visitor Bayer Leverkusen, in the Europa League, in a cold -14°C at Lerkendal stadium.
The other was held in February 2018. For the Concacaf Champions League, Colorado hosted Toronto at DSG Park, in Commerce City (USA), in the Rocky Mountain region. The Canadian team won 2-0, and the thermometers marked -16°C.
In the World Cup, the cold was far from it, however there was an occasion with football below zero degrees.
In South Africa in 2010, a group stage game recorded a temperature of -1°C.
It was at Ellis Park, in Johannesburg, and the Brazilian team was the protagonist. They overcame the cold and also North Korea, by a tight 2-1.
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