In a disappointing season for Flamengo in 2023, the early fall in the round of 16 of the Conmebol Libertadores, against Olimpia, from Paraguay, is perhaps the elimination most felt by the red and blacks, who dreamed of conquering America for the first time at Maracanã – the three previous titles were in Montevideo (Uruguay), Lima (Peru) and Guayaquil (Ecuador). And to make matters worse for the fans, it was Fluminense, an arch-rival, who reached the final. While for many it would be a source of envy, there are those who left pride and clubism aside for family reasons.
Red and black fan surprises tricolor grandmother with ticket to the Libertadores final
Among the thousands of Fluminense fans who in recent weeks have been looking for tickets for the decision against Boca Juniors, from Argentina, next Saturday, there was one red and black: Bruna Villeroy, a 21-year-old advertising student, wanted to give a gift to her tricolor grandmother, Dona Nizete, 81. Tickets for the final sold out quickly in the exclusive sale for Flu members, but she mobilized her mother, uncle, boyfriend and a friend to try to get the charge free, which is required by law in Rio de Janeiro , aimed at people with disabilities, children under 12 and seniors over 60.
Requests for free contributions opened on Friday. The person who managed to get in line first and send Dona Nizete’s documents was her friend, Lara, and then Bruna received a confirmation email from Conmebol. Already anticipating her grandmother’s emotion, she used her cell phone to record the surprise and posted the video, which quickly went viral on social media. (see video above). In an interview with gethe red-black explained the idea and seemed divided for the final:
– My Flamengo fan side will obviously support Boca, but I really want my grandmother to live this experience and be very happy. I’m very happy to provide this moment for her. My grandmother is the only tricolor in the family. She LOVES Fluminense and really wanted to go. I knew her reaction would be incredible and I wanted to record it as a souvenir, I didn’t imagine the commotion from so many people.
Dona Nizete will be accompanied by some tricolor neighbors who managed to buy tickets. This will not be her debut at Maracanã. She has been there other times, the last time last year, when she said goodbye to Fred (her great idol and with whom she has already spoken via video call), in the 2-1 victory over Ceará. Among other trips, the Tricolor grandmother even went “hidden” to watch Fluminense at the stadium.
– There was a day when there was no one at home, just her, and when we arrived she wasn’t there. I said: “Hey, where’s my grandmother?” Here in the condominium there is a swimming pool, play, we went there and it wasn’t there. We called the concierge and they said she was leaving with the Fluminense shirt. Then we started calling a lot of people, checking everything, and no one found it.
– A long time passed, we were already desperate, going to the hospital, chaos in Rio de Janeiro, the neighbors were all mobilized looking, she arrived through the door, with a flag hanging and no voice. “My God, where were you? Is everything okay?” And she: “Yes, I went to the game.” It was at the time when you didn’t need to collect the free fee, you arrived at Maracanã, showed the document and entered. She went alone, leaving everyone crazy behind her (laughs).
Bruna said that her grandmother is excited about going to the games, but explained that because of her age and often not having company, trips to the stadium have become less and less frequent. However, with the coincidence of the final being this year at Maracanã, the granddaughter claimed that Dona Nizete deserved to be in that match, which is perhaps the most important in Fluminense’s history:
– She goes crazy, she is very happy to go to Maracanã. Nowadays she doesn’t go as often because of her age and because she doesn’t always have company. We Flamengo fans have no way of going to the Fluminense game. So unfortunately it’s not often that she can go, but on this occasion she couldn’t miss it. My grandmother is the person who needed to be there that day. There was no one in the world who deserved to be there more than my grandmother. It’s been 81 years waiting for this (Libertadores title). And at Maracanã, it’s the opportunity she needed.
Boca Juniors and Fluminense face each other in the Conmebol Libertadores final next Saturday, at 5pm (Brasília time), at Maracanã. As the decision is in a single game, whoever wins is champion. In case of a tie, there will be extra time. And if equality persists, the title will be decided on penalties.
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