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Brazilian champs or Brazilian chumps? The strange case of Bela Vista

Bela Vista Football Club (Brazil) 1958

Bela Vista FC Tour of Europe 1958

Back in the fifties many Brazilian sides toured Europe and one club who hoped to cash in on the success of the 1958 World Cup winning Brazilian national team was Bela Vista Futebol Clube de Sete Lagoas. They weren’t a big club by any stretch of the imagination though a resourceful Brazilian businessman with an eye for an opportunity organised a tour of Europe by the club in the hope of making some money.

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Rampla Juniors Tour of England 1956

Luton Town v Rampla Juniors (Uruguay) 10/04/56

Uruguayan club Rampla Juniors embarked on a huge global tour in 1956. Over the course of 71 days they played 24 games in 8 countries. They visited Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Turkey as well as England. They recorded 11 wins, 6 draws and only 7 defeats, a quite remarkable record given that they averaged a game every 3 days.

The English leg of their tour saw them take part in a number of floodlit friendlies. The programme cover above shows their game at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday 10th April. The day after, on the Wednesday, they played Portsmouth at Fratton Park & became the first Uruguayan club to record a victory on British soil with a 3-1 win.

The following week they visited Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday the 18th & then Watford on the Thursday. I’ve not been able to find the scores from these two games. They also played Leeds, Mansfield, Southampton & possibly Burnley but I haven’t been able to confirm the dates these games were played.

QPR v Rampla Juniors (Uruguay) 18/04/56 Watford v Rampla Juniors (Uruguay) 19/04/56

Read more about Rampla …

1929: The 1st Tour: Rampla Juniors abroad