Thursday, 25 September 2014

Our story with Daegu FC

   Our story with Daegu FC started in 2011. It was close to the end of the year when my father received a phone call. After some minutes on the phone, his face expressions were getting happier and happier. It was a job offer to work in South Korea, in a soccer club called Daegu FC. And the offer was not only for my father, but for the whole family. The club was creating a new team with a new "Brazilian  Philosophy": 4 Brazilian coaches leading the team + 3 Brazilian players. It seemed such a great idea. They also promised us a house and a car to use, an Interpreter to help us with the language, Medical Insurance for the whole family and the International School for my sister (freshman in High School at that time), all paid by the club. It was more than we could imagine. Our situation in Brazil was not that good, we always thought about living abroad, always dreamed with an opportunity like that... it was such a chance we couldn't miss!
   In the beginning of January, 2012, the whole team and some directors went to Brasil for a pre-season, trying to escape from the Korean winter and to get close with the Brazilian spirit and soul. There, my father had the first contact with the team. After some weeks training in Brazil, it was time to went back to Korea, and after a few more days, I, my mother and my sister, together with the other Brazilian families, also travelled to the 'Land of the Morning Calm'.
   And it was great! We had never experienced such a cold weather, amazing mountains, different food tastes... everything was unique and special. Until the first problems started to appear... It was time for my sister to go to school, but it seems nobody really cared for it. Eventually we also had to go to the hospital, even though we didn't have any Medical Insurance. And that was the first lies. There was no International School for my sister (even though we had received all the documents from the school a few months earlier, when we were in Brazil). Everybody also pretended that they didn't know anything about the Medical Insurances for the families. Our fantasy started to ruin... My sister (with another Brazilian girl, one of the other coach's daughter), were supposed to be at school, studying, but they were at home instead. We also had to pay a really expensive fee every time we needed any hospital service. That was not cool.
   Some time later, after insisting and talking with all the directors in the club, they finally found out a solution and put the girls in a Korean regular school. Ok, that's not too bad... when you are 5 or 6 years old!!! The other girl got hit in the school, and my sister could barely understand the teachers "Good morning". It was impossible to stand that situation. We had to look for the International School. Such a beautiful place, excellent teachers and understanding directors. They heard our story and opened their arms to receive the girls in the school (sincerely, we will be forever grateful for you, DIS - Daegu International School). But even with all the help and discount, the school fee was a burden that was not in our plans. That money you intended so save? Forget it.


   And then the year passed. Even thought the team had one of the best seasons since its foundation in 2002, the directors decided to not continue with the Brazilians. Nothing wrong with that, their option, even because the contract was only for one year. Everybody back to Brazil. Ah, yes, I started dating a Korean girl, Yerin, and was kind of lost in Brazil. So, after less than one month there, I went back to Korea, alone this time, in order to study and stay close to my girlfriend. End of 2012.

2013...
   After some weeks in Brazil looking for a new job, my father was indicated to a Chinese team that liked his curriculum and decided to hire him. Back to Asia, but living alone in one of the coldest cities of China. And so it goes for some months... and then, all of sudden, we received a message from Daegu FC in May, saying that they wanted to bring my father back. Different than 2012, the team was not having a good performance at the championship. They were at the bottom of the table and had not won a single game in the whole year. Even though the situation was ok in China, my father had a conversation with the Chinese directors, explained that he wanted to stay close to his son in Korea, and they agreed to put an end to his contract. Then, he was free to come to Korea. And so he did, even with pay cut. At first, he signed a 1-year contract (from June 3, 2013 to June 2, 2014), with 3 airplane tickets for the family (go and back) to visit him, and the promise of a renewal for a longer period contract.

The three tickets we have never seen. Two years without seeing my mother and sister because of this.

   The months passed by and, even with some victories and a clear reaction from the team, they could not make it and Daegu was relegated to the Second Division and its last game at home. Such a cold and sad day for everybody. It was already December and time to start thinking for the new year's challenges and obstacles, all the preparation to go back to the First Division.
   My father asked about his belongings once the day of his travel to Brazil was close. He was asked to leave all his belongings organized at his house. And so he did it. He went back back to Brazil for his one-month vacation. There, he, my mother and sister started preparing the things to go back to Korea in 2014, a new year with the whole family together again after one year separated. We couldn't wait for the beginning of the new year... but we had to wait much more than that. During his staying at home in Brazil, no messages from the club, no phone calls, nothing official about what was happening in the backstage of the club. We wanted to confirm the day of their flight back to Korea, once the pre-season always start in the first weeks of January. No answers from the club. Nothing. When they started replying our messages, the only answers we got from the Interpreter was: "I don't know what is happening here", "I don't know anything". And then 2013 finished...


2014...
   2014 started and we were lost. The pre-season started and, by some Korean soccer blogs, we got to know that Daegu had hired a new Physical Coach. Even though my father had a contract until June 2, 2014, they hired a new Coach and didn't even tell us about anything that was happening. No tickets to go back to work, no official messages or phone calls, nothing. My father was legally a Daegu FC employee, and was not able to work. Waiting for a call and the tickets to go back and do his job, while a new guy was already doing it.
   We got crazy with this situation and tried to solve it through all the possible ways. As I was the only one living in Korea at that time, I went a couple of times with my girlfriend to their office in order to talk and solve the situation. Bad news. They just ignored my father's contract, pretended he didn't exist. We looked for our rights, but the lawyer was too expensive and would take too much time. But, wait, what about his belongings he was asked to keep at his apartment in Daegu? Oh, at least ONE good news. They said to me that they would send it to him in Brazil. Everything was there: his clothes, accessories, some documents.... And then, I went to the office one more time to check everything and help them to send it. Arriving there, received the kind words: "Do you want to send your father's belonging to Brazil? Good, we will do it for you. Just sign here, please". They wanted me to sign a paper ending my father's contract. That was the deal. We send the things, and you forget about his contract. NEVER! Really, I don't know what I felt that day, but I'm pretty sure that was one of, if not the, worst feelings in my whole life. I was upset, mad, angry, crazy, hopeless... Picked all the boxes and put them at my girlfriend's house. Realized that was no way to solve that in good way. It was me and my family, 4 Brazilians, against a Korean Soccer Club, with a whole city and politicians behind them (Daegu FC is funded by the city of Daegu).
   Our dream was over. Our dream became our nightmare. I was living in Korea, my father "unemployed", and my mother and sister unpacking their bags.
   A few more weeks later, a new Korean job offer appeared and my father finally returned to Korea. Back to the first division, but another city this time. The situation with Daegu FC was never solved, never touched again. I have heard we were not the first ones to be treated like this by them, and I'm pretty sure we will not be the last ones.
   If you are Brazilian, or from any other country, be careful before accepting anything from Daegu FC. For them, we are just like a fruit they can use, extract all from it, and when they get what they want from us, we are just thrown to the cornerstone, forgotten by them. I do hope this story can help you in some way to understand a little more about what happens in the backstage of a soccer team and to avoid having the same experience in your life.
   Korea is an amazing country, with a wonderful people and a fascinating culture. Regardless what your job is, bust be careful with the people you are going to deal with. I hope you have a great time and only good memories of your staying in South Korea! ^^

P.S.: A really special THANK YOU for all the Daegu FC Supporters that stayed by our side since the beginning, understood our situation and did everything possible to help our family. We do love all of you!

P.S.2: Another special THANK YOU for 샤다라빠 for making the amazing comics (that you can check below) about our story with Daegu FC in 2013/2014. It is more than amazing!


Comics by 샤다라빠


Daegu FC, thank you so much!

Lucas Zavarelli

Monday, 8 September 2014

I don't care anymore if it's right or if it's wrong. Love makes me blind, the pain makes me strong.

Lucas Zavarelli

Monday, 1 September 2014

Dare to dream!

Dare to Dream

Dare to dream of far off lands,
Dream of deserts, covered in sand.
Dream of rainforests, trees high above
Dream of finding your one true love.

Dare to dream of lies or the truth,
Dream of never losing your youth.
Dream of battles, dream of a spark.
Dream of light, a light in the dark.

Dare to dream of fighting and sadness,
Dream of men, succumbed to madness.
Dream of warmth and heat and flame,
Dream that your life is just a game.

Dare to dream of hate and mistrust,
Dream of all that's true and just.
Dream of drowning, drowning in the sea,
Dare to dream of dreaming, yes dare to dream with me.

Lexi Smith