"You could just feel the atmosphere from the fans"

Brazilian Werder superfan Rodrigo Rocha

Rodrigo and kitman Stefan hold a jersey and smile.
Rodrigo received a match-worn shirt after seeing the U23s win 4-3 (photo: WERDER.DE).
Tuesday, 11.06.2024 / 10:30

Rodrigo Rocha has been a Werder fan since childhood. That’s nothing special in and of itself, but growing up in Brazil, Rodrigo could only follow his beloved Green-Whites through the TV screen. Although he had plans to finally see Werder at Osterdeich in 2020, the pandemic meant the football world had to be put on pause around the time of his visit. “Now I’ve got a perfect excuse to come back again,” he said at the time, grinning – and now he has.

“Every time I come to Germany, it’s really special for me. Especially to be in Bremen – I’ve dreamt of it since I was a child,” says the prolific jersey collector. In May, he made his third trip to the city, with one thing on the agenda: football. First, he saw the U23s defeat Hemelingen 4-3 on 2nd May, and met up with an old friend while he was there.

“The game wasn’t the best. I was expecting it to be about 10-0 given how the season’s gone so far, but the main thing is that we won.” The real highlight of the day, though, came after the match. Just as he’d done last year, kitman Stefan invited the Brazilian into the boot room. “Last year I was interviewed here in Germany and Stefan had seen it on TV,” Rodrigo recalls. “He took me into a room with a metal box full of jerseys and told me I could take whatever I wanted. I’ve met him again this year and he’s given me a match-worn shirt. He’s a great guy.”

Rodrigo’s footballing journey next took him to the Hamburg derby – a 1-0 win for Hamburger SV – alongside Werder legend Ailton. The pair had first made contact over Instagram, but their first meeting in person came about entirely by chance. “I was walking across a market square in Bremen in 2020 with a friend and we saw him. I called out, ‘Ailton! Ailton!’” says Rodrigo with a grin. “He was happy to meet a Brazilian. We went for a coffee and he gave me a jersey as a gift.” Since then, the two have become close friends. Last year, Ailton visited Rodrigo in Rio, and ‘Kugelblitz’ took Rodrigo to his first game at the wohninvest WESERSTADION last April. “I was in the VIP area with him for that one,” reflects Rodrigo, “so I didn’t have the same experience of watching the game that you get with the fans in the stands.” But it wouldn’t take too long for him to get that experience, watching the Green-Whites’ 2-2 draw against Gladbach from the Ostkurve. “It was completely different to the first time. You could just feel the atmosphere from the fans. It was the highlight of my trip to Europe.”

A perfect excuse to come back

To round off Rodrigo’s green and white weekend, he also attended the women’s Bundesliga match between Werder and Duisburg. “It was great,” he said after the 4-2 victory. “A few years ago, the team were fighting to stay in the Bundesliga, and now they’re comfortably mid-table and looking upwards. I’m proud of them.”

One thing still eludes Rodrigo, however - he is yet to see a home win for Ole Werner’s first team. “Maybe I’m the problem,” he chuckles. “It was the third Werder game I’ve been to – two draws and one defeat.” A perfect excuse for the Brazilian to come back again.

Your web browser ist outdated.
The web browser you are using is no longer supported.
Please download one of these free and up to date browsers.
Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge
Chrome Firefox Edge
Google Chrome
Mozilla Firefox
MS Edge
Why should I use an up to date web browser?
Newer web browsers provide better protection against malware, data theft and other threats to your privacy and security. Up to date browsers continuously close security holes that allow attackers to enter your computer.
New Technologies
The technologies used on modern websites are better supported by newer web browsers. This both increases functionality and improves the website layout. By benefiting from new functions and extensions you will be able to surf the web faster and easier.