The team printed on the kombi draws attention. In the countryside, old idols, such as Luizinho, Reinaldo and Cerezo, join other more recent ones, such as Victor, Ronaldinho and Diego Tardelli. When you open one of the doors, the benches appear – numbered like a lineup – a television broadcasting a Champions League duel. But the game that really matters is Lionel Messi’s PSG against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Everyone there was waiting for the ball to roll for the decisive duel between Atltico and Palmeiras, for the return of the semifinal of the Copa Libertadores – which would happen in hours, meters away, in Mineiro.
To the sound of music from the Alvinegra fans, the nine who were there – seven adults and two children – drank and ate while waiting for the game. But what really caught my attention was the van. The vehicle has been customized with symbols depicting the Atltico. Outside, historic bowls won by the club. Above, a sentence immortalized by journalist Roberto Drummond: ‘If there is a white and black shirt hanging on the clothesline during a storm, the athlete will support against the wind’.
The ‘Komboio do Galo’ was conceived by 47-year-old civil engineer Otvio Viana. On a trip, he and his cousin Daniel Amorim, an engineer, 39, conceived the project. But it was difficult to play it halfway through the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea, then, was for later…
At least that’s what Daniel thought. “The pandemic came, things became difficult,” he told Superesportes. Otvio, however, never got the project out of his mind. And he decided to carry the dream forward, all by himself. “I did it alone, ‘bring’ my cousin, and gave the van to him as a birthday present,” I smiled.
“The 2013 kombi (year in which Atltico won the Copa Libertadores). It had to be from that year. I plotted, made the listed benches, put in the portable TV, has a tent… All personalized by Galo. Today, we have nine , all of the family”, completes Otvio.
“It’s inexplicable. Really good. Behind it, there’s a very big story of the whole family. It was really cool, because we made the kombi project. And then, on my birthday, in October 2020, it arrived at the RV as a gift . I am very grateful,” says the gifted Daniel.
With the family together, the cousins have the next plan: to travel 2.6 thousand kilometers by kombi between Belo Horizonte and Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, for the final of this season’s Copa Libertadores. They have been saving money for months and are talking optimistically about the possibility even before the semifinal against Palmeiras, in Mineiro. The first-hand game ended 0-0.
“The family, very united, started to idealize this four, five months ago. We have a little box, gathering the necessary resources. We’ll take the children, because it will be unforgettable for them. I’m very excited. Come on, Rooster!”, he cheered.