Today, TURF headed down to Adidas Posto – the headquarters for all of Adidas’ World Cup operations. Excited to see what was in-store, my cameraman and I found ourselves standing at the front of Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, Rio’s biggest football club’s training facility in absolute awe.
On arrival, we were overwhelmed by the sheer history of the club, seeing the names of past champions engraved in gold on the marble entrance. The beliefs and morals of the club were evident on entry as you walked up the steps which were painted and etched with inspirational words leading into the legend Zico’s arms.
Beginning to come to terms with the astounding setting, we were greeted by our Aussie Adidas rep who was to give us a tour of the Adidas centre.
We were taken to a room with a wall of recorded history depicting Adidas’s production of boots and balls in World Cups dating back to the 1950’s. It really was a sense of recognition of how long Adidas has been providing products that excite the world every four years. They also displayed the kits they would be showing off at this year’s World Cup which were first class. Adidas explained to us the way in which the studs have been transformed to suit the player’s needs.
Matched with their new #allin or nothing campaign, driven by Messi, Ozil, Van Persie, Dani Alves and Suarez – we were keen to check out the new Battle Pack range; the latest in Adidas technology.
Then came the best part of all; we were taken to the top level of the building which was an open air lounge surrounded by the most amazing view of Christ the Redeemer. It really is the perfect place to chill out and watch the games soaking up the fresh Rio air.
The facilities were second to none and the staff were accommodating with all of our needs. The staff worked in an amazing environment but what we were about to witness next would blow our minds.
Our Adidas representative told us she needed to step out for a moment, only to return with a priceless piece of the World Cup. She presented us with one of the official match balls that were used in the Australia v Chile match. We were literally holding a piece of history in our hands and I was once again feeling like a little kid from a candy store. Apart from the players, the ball had only been touched by a small number of people so it really was something special.
Was this the ball super Tim Cahill headed into the back of the net against Chile?
Our Adidas guide also showed us a replica display of all the World Cup Brazuca balls for each game and the match ball for the final at the Maracana.
To conclude the tour, our representative showed us a display of Clube de Regatas do Flamengo’s trophy cabinet. Flamengo are one of the most popular teams in Rio and you will see people wearing their famous red and black kit all throughout the city. They are fierce rivals with Fluminense and have been host to some recent big names in Ronaldinho and Adriano to name a few. It surprised me to see that they have been performing so poorly in the ‘Brasilian Serie A’ currently sitting in 19th (second last place).
To conclude, we were then taken to the auditorium which has hosted a number of stars such as superstar Juan Sebastián Verón. Tune in to THE TURF this week to see which star we may potentially get to meet.
Words by Ari Charilaou