While the Galo masses lost sleep before the 2013 Libertadores matches, Atlético Mineiro’s stars dealt with the pressure by challenging themselves at poker.
The idea of taking cards and chips to the concentration was the team’s main star, five-time world champion Ronaldinho Gaúcho. In an interview with ESPN’s Resenha program, striker Diego Tardelli told more details about the unknown hobby of the champions of America.
“Gaúcho was different. On the eve of the Libertadores matches, he would bring his briefcase and we would play poker until four o’clock in the morning. Nobody knew, it was just me, Jô, Bernard, Alecsandro, and Richarlyson. We stayed in the room, and the next day we ran over everybody,” said Tardelli.
After having the best campaign of the Libertadores group stage, Atlético had epic comebacks in duels against Tijuana, Newell’s Old Boys and Olimpia. With cries of “I Believe”, the masses helped the players to find improbable outs in that campaign.