By XIAO LYU
According to the Brazilian media Gaucha, on Sept. 16, the world’s most famous fan in football, Clovis Acosta Fernandes has passed away at the age of 60.
His name may not sound familiar to you, perhaps you may wonder who is this “famous fan”? But if you are a fan of the Brazilian national team, you would notice on TV or in an online photograph the face of an old Brazilian World Cup fan with a white beard wearing a bowler hat, even carrying his replica trophy in the bleachers.
Fernandes gained further popularity in the last year’s World Cup. When he saw Brazil collapsed to a 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany, the image of him clinging on to his replica trophy with tears in his eyes drew many attention from international news media. It later emerged that Fernandes had passed his replica trophy on to a German fan, apparently telling her to “… take it to the final. As you can see, it is not easy, but you deserve it, congratulations.” The photograph immediately exploded on social media and Fernandes became something of a celebrity.
Fernandez had followed the Brazilian national team to more than 60 countries. He watched more than 150 tournaments of the Brazilian team and made sure his face and his trophy were on camera at every World Cup since 1990. He witnessed his beloved team become champions twice. People call him the “Brazil’s 12th player.”
Sadly, he was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago and was taken away by the disease on Wednesday. He was known to be a friendly man and he liked to be interactive, such as share his selfies and pictures with his fans via his Twitter account.
FIFA made a tribute via Instagram on Wednesday saying: “…Innumerable fans snapped selfies with the good-natured Gaúcho during Brazil 2014, while the sight of him crying during the Seleção’s semi-final defeat was one of the most iconic images of the tournament. We’ll miss you, Clóvis.”
Many fans from all around the world are still leaving messages under FIFA’s tribute, and tweets are currently circulating on Twitter to his well known account @Gauchodacopa. They talked about his background story and expressed condolences through the social media. This time, social media play the role of disseminating the story and uniting people through remembrance.