O Botafogo had a very busy week with the signing of striker Luiz Henrique, the most expensive in the history of Brazilian football. From the first news broadcast, the feeling was that a “operation achincalhe” in the press against the institution. A method historically used to convey the narrative that most appeals to certain recipients.
Surrogacy, satellite club, more expensive signing disregarding inflation, hidden businessmen causing disturbances, contract length, etc.. The arsenal of narratives was used almost like a war operation to equip rivals. However, there are rare analyzes of the business model or, for example, how important this hiring is for the entire context of the network, in addition to the sporting gain for Botafogo. It is essential that Luiz Henrique does well here in major championships, follows a strong European path and opens the door for the next ones to come, for example. Botafogo needs to join the carousel of future talents in European football. It’s a recipe that all big clubs in Brazil have. But this type of analysis is not useful and has never been useful. Just flatter him. And it’s not today.
75 years ago, even though it was forgotten by SAF and social club, we won the first title after the fusion of football and rowing. The press reported that we had broken a 16-year fast, disregarding the fourth championship from 1932 to 1935. The last three had been won during the split in the federation, even though Botafogo was competing in the official tournament. In an article published on 12/23/1948 in the magazine Sport IllustratedCharles Guimarães writes categorically on the topic:
“There is a precious detail that was forgotten by the sports chronicle. Absolutely 16 years have not passed since Botafogo lifted the last title of champion of the metropolis, because in 1935, although we were at the time of dissent, it was up to ‘Glorioso’ to lift that year’s title, precisely in the official entity, that is, affiliated to the Metropolitan Sports Confederation, that is, the Metropolitan Sports Federation. With this clarification we want to do justice to General Severiano’s club, as they even took the titles of 1930 and 1932 from him, to call him the champion of 1910, the year in which he obtained the pompous title of ‘Glorioso’”.
Certain things are not coincidence, they are method. Not only with Botafogo, to be fair, other big cariocas, like the rival on the hill, have always gone through this. At the end of world Cup 1950, Uruguay scored two goals in identical plays exploiting the left back’s back Moustachethe blame fell on the goalkeeper Barbosa. A Juquinha candy for anyone who guesses the team each one played on. Or the goalkeeper of the 7×1, more goals in World Cups than the Skin, never remembered by the media when they mention such a game. Or the 6×0 from 1972 not having any video recording. Or “Botafogo raises an emptied State” etc.
Throughout history, the front line for protecting the institution has always been the fans. We were always in the trenches when needed. With the explosion of social media, narratives circulate explosively and Botafogo’s defense passes us by. We must separate the club’s administration, which will always be at the mercy of praise and criticism, from the Botafogo institution.
Almost 75 years ago, 12/12/1948, the first Carioca played after the departure of Heleno de Freitasfirst year of Nilton Santos as a Botafogo player, first year of Carlito Rocha as official president of the club and the emergence of Tootles. However, I would like to take advantage of this space to remember who was on the line on that date in General Severiano in the initial image that illustrates this text.