Brazil’s most ardent supporter, already famous in his home country, became a worldwide sensation this week when photos of him sadly clutching a replica trophy went viral following his team’s thrashing by Germany in their World Cup semi-final.
The so-called saddest fan on Earth, also known as Clovis Fernandes, had been super-excited to watch his team compete for soccer’s top prize on home soil, and drove from game to game around the country with his two sons. And that replica trophy.
On Tuesday, he was in the stands for Brazil’s semi-final against Germany, and it wasn’t long before things went horribly, horribly wrong.
Fernandes’s frown got bigger and bigger as Germany’s lead got wider and wider. As Germany closed out its 7-1 victory, photographers captured him with his arms wrapped around his trophy and tears in his eyes.
A GIF of sad Fernandes was even put to the opening lines of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.”
But Fernandes’s famous spirit could not be kept down for long. Reddit users picked up on stories from the stadium, where fans in the stands whipped out their cellphones to catch the moment when Fernandes handed his trophy over to a German fan. He reportedly said to her: “Take it to the final. As you can see, it is not easy, but you deserve it. Congratulations.”
While Fernandes was clearly disappointed by his team’s showing at this year’s tournament, he has enjoyed his share of victories. He had been to six previous World Cups dating back to Italy in 1990, and he watched Brazil win it all in 1994 and then again in 2002.
He has followed the Brazilian national team to other tournaments, and even to training camps, around the world.
He is so famous that FIFA filmed a feature interview with him that was posted to its official YouTube channel in April.
“I am their 12th player. I am. You can be certain of that,” Fernandes says in that profile. “I’m the guy that cheers. I’m the guy that shouts.”
We can assume he will be back cheering and shouting at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.