No sex before games? Brazilian players test club controls

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SummaryConcentracao is sequestering teams before matches and shielding them from temptations such as sex, alcohol.

his team mates to vote against the practice and they rejected it for several years during a period known as Corinthians Democracy. However, when he left the club in 1984 the concentracao returned.


Other players have legendary tales of escaping the bubble.

Garrincha sneaked out of the Botafogo team hotel during a 1959 tour to Sweden, and nine months later was rewarded with a son.

Renato Gaucho missed out on the 1986 World Cup after being caught partying on the eve of the tournament.

Romario and a young Ronaldo left Brazil's team base one night during a Copa America tournament. After scaling a wall, Ronaldo was surprised to find Romario had arranged a taxi to take them to a nightclub. "It was mega-professional," he joked years later.

Nevertheless, many players acknowledge the practice does serve a purpose.

"The concentracao allows the team to be together, to talk over the game, to watch videos of opponents, and to relax," said Moises Moura, a central defender with Portuguesa whose itinerant career has taken him to clubs in Portugal, Russia, Qatar and China. "These kind of things keep you focused on the game."

But he added: "In Brazil, where there are two games a week almost every week, there is a certain attrition.

"You spend more time with your team mates than with your family. Players need downtime to get football out of their heads and take the pressure off."

Other players said some Brazilians are not responsible enough to be left to their own devices.

If the team are playing well fans overlook transgressions, but when the results go against them there is a backlash.

Brazilian supporters regularly harass and abuse players and sometimes even attack them when the team is struggling.

Corinthians fans recently chanted slogans against Romarinho after he was spotted socialising. Fans at Vasco did likewise with Rafael Vaz in October when they suspected him of going out on the eve of matches.

Vasco players boycotted the concentracao for several games earlier this season when the club was behind on paying wages, but they have since returned. Vasco were relegated last week.

Only time - and money - will tell if more teams follow the lead of Botafogo, or even if the Botafogo players' stance continues.

Bolivar said he was enjoying having more time with his family but doubted whether many clubs would voluntarily adopt Botafogo's approach.

"Botafogo are pioneers but not every team can do it," he said. "I think the majority of

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