There is passion everywhere, not just in Glasgow – Moment Rangers boss Beale saw Brazilian foot mayhem as a mass brawl broke out

MICHAEL BEALE knows what it’s like to enter the lion’s den.

A blazing cauldron of noise, with a vociferous crowd mocking your every move.

Sao Paulo fans cheer on their team


Sao Paulo fans cheer on their team
Rangers manager Michael Beale


Rangers manager Michael Beale
Mineiro fans in action during Copa Libertadores vs Millonarios


Mineiro fans in action during Copa Libertadores vs Millonarios

For the first time since returning to Glasgow in November, Beale takes his Rangers side to Celtic Park on Saturday.

With no traveling fans allowed, a hostile reception awaits the Light Blues.

But Beale believes he is more than equipped to handle the opportunity.

The Englishman, who trained in South America, saw the true meaning of fanaticism in many crazy Brazil derbies.

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He would prefer some Rangers fans to be there but it won’t affect his game plan as his side look to pierce Celtic’s lead at the top.

Beale said: “In Brazil there were reasons for not having away fans.

“Before I went there, there was a lot of crowd violence at the Sao Paulo derbies.

“My big memory from that time was when we played away against Santos.

“It was the day my family arrived in Brazil and Pelé played so much of his legendary football in Santos.

“It’s also a legendary club and we won 3-1. That was a particularly good day. It was February 15, 2017.

“My first game was actually in Tampa Bay against River Plate.

“You’re English. You’re with Sao Paulo and you play River Plate. It’s a bit unique.

“Three days later we played Corinthians in Florida. A mass brawl ensued and three players were sent off in the first seven minutes.

“There is passion everywhere, not just here in Glasgow.”

Beale moved to Brazil in January 2017 to work with coach Rogerio Ceni but the couple only lasted six months.

However, he learned Portuguese and football culture.

He recalled: “At my first home game, 25,000 fans were waiting for us. Coming from academy football so it was an eye opener for me.

“It was similar to the scenes I saw in Glasgow.

“It was a fantastic experience for me to get to know another culture.

“I mean, you can’t do a reverse sub, for example.

“When you lead 3-0 and take off the No. 10, they moan like hell.

“It’s all about scoring and creating and it’s a nice way to look at the game.”

Beale had worked at youth level at Chelsea and Liverpool before joining Sao Paulo and it was a hugely positive experience.

He said: “It was the first time I had worked regularly at first-team level.

“I had worked at two big academies for 15 years, in Chelsea and Liverpool. There was obviously a lot of structure in there.

“But you go to South America and the clubs are not owned. You are elected. It is very similar to the Barcelona model.

“The clubs are considered amateurs when they are not and that is just because of how they vote for a president.

“You can tell that clubs have to sell, so there was a lot of top young talent.

“Eder Militao came out of the academy and moved to Porto. He’s obviously at Real Madrid now.

“There are many others out there playing so it was a very special time for me.

“I probably threw my toys out of the stroller because we sold a player or two that I really enjoyed working with.

“I resigned. A week later the manager left, but he’s back to work there now.

“Rogerio is very famous in Brazil, similar to Steven Gerrard here.

“He played for a club for 20 years.

“He went away and won the league with Flamengo and now he’s back in Sao Paulo.

“It was a wonderful experience and I think it encouraged me.”

Ahead of three remaining Glasgow derbies – including the Scottish Cup semi-final in Hampden later this month – Beale has put all contract talks on hold.

Both he and sporting director Ross Wilson are quite determined on who they want to keep as the Ibrox club prepare for a massive summer of change.

Beale said: “The international break has given me some breathing room because it’s been busy from November until now.

“It gave me time to look towards the summer, towards the start of preparation, what that will be like and what the squad will be like.

“There were also a lot of discussions with the players in terms of summer recruitment.

“Our decisions are clear. You’re 99.9 percent done. Me and Ross really agree on this.

“Only if these things need to be communicated.”

Beale has challenged his players to extend their good league run. Rangers are unbeaten in the league under the Ibrox boss.

It’s been five months since the Light Blues last lost – away to St Johnstone – and Beale stabilized the ship following the sacking of Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

However, he knows his side have three games left against Celtic to salvage something from their season.

He said: “It’s been a long time for us as a team since I came.

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“The last time we lost in the league was the first week of November. We are now in April.

“It’s been a long time, 20 weeks in good form in the league. We have to keep repeating it.”

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