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Volume 7 No. 149
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Brazilian National Team Creates 'Money Machine' With String Of Int'l Friendlies

Brazil's national football team is "becoming Globetrotters" in its own right, according to Amitai Winehouse of the London DAILY MAIL. On Friday, it played a "seemingly bizarre" friendly in Lille, France, against Japan. The team will travel to Wembley for a fixture against England on Tuesday. These matches "only seem weird if the last five years worth of fixtures are not taken into account." The "money machine" that is the Brazil national team has played 33 friendlies in that time. A "staggering" 24 have taken place outside of its own nation. The box office is the "main reason" behind Brazil's ongoing global tour. A game organized against Argentina at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in June this year drew 95,969 supporters. Even at stadiums that are "not as starved of good football," such as the Emirates, Brazil draws fans. A near-sellout 60,007 turned up in north London when Brazil took on Chile in March '15. Of course, there is "a cost associated with bringing Brazil to a stadium." Pitch Int'l currently has the right to help organize Brazil's friendlies worldwide. It is understood that it cost around £3M ($3.9M) to bring Neymar and his teammates to Wembley. The friendly against Russia at Stamford Bridge in March '13 was "touted" as costing $3M to organize. Even if a game is at a "seemingly inconvenient" time and location, there is still a commercial benefit. The match against Japan on Friday was organized for a 1pm kickoff as that meant it "would be broadcast at peak time for an interested Asian audience" (DAILY MAIL, 11/13).