A Ryman League One play-off may not mean much to many in the football world — but to one Brazilian fan, it was worth travelling half way around the globe for.
Corinthians fan Danilo embarked on a 6,000-mile round trip from Sao Paulo to Heathrow to watch Corinthian-Casuals take on Dorking Wanderers.
His flight was initially overbooked and he had to delay his journey by a day — but it was still worth it.
The avid footie fan had made the trip to honour Corinthians, who were responsible for bringing the game to Brazil more than 100 years ago and who gave their name to Danilo’s team in Brazil, Corinthians Paulista.
He explained: “This is my first time in England and it’s not as cold as everyone had told me it would be.
“The flight was overbooked, so I needed to reschedule, but I really wanted to be here, so I flew the next day.
“I got on the flight and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my word, I’m really doing that!’”
Danilo’s first Corinthians game was back in 1994, and he has since seen the club of his heart win the Copa do Brasil in 2002, the legendary Ronaldo’s debut in 2009 and when his side won the league title in 2015 — but he admitted this is up there with his best footballing experiences.
He went on: “It is strange because no one understands me, but I have a special relationship with this club and its history.
“For me, this will be one of the greatest experiences in football in my life.”
Corinthian FC are an old amateur English football team and were once the best side on the planet.
Over 100 years ago, they brought the game outside the continent — including to Brazil — and their white was the inspiration for Real Madrid.
While they also inflicted Manchester United’s heaviest-ever defeat when they beat the Red Devils 11-3 in 1904.
Sao Paulo giants, Corinthians, actually named themselves after the old English side back in 1910.
When professionalism arrived in the game, Corinthian FC fell on hard times and were forced to merge with Casual FC , giving them their modern name.
They fell through the divisions and are now in Ryman League One — despite having retained their 100 per cent amateur status.
Most have never even heard of them on the British Isles, but Danilo insists they have a huge following by football fans in Brazil, who appreciate what they have done for their game.
He added: “It’s difficult to explain just why this team means so much to me.
“I have a special relationship with Corinthians Paulista and this club, Cortinthian-Casuals, is the inspiration for my club in Brazil.
“And, 110 years ago, they were the best team on the planet and right now, they’re playing in the eighth division in England.
“Because of this club’s glorious history, I believe everyone who loves football should be following them, because they are the history of football.
“I know in England there are great teams like Manchester United and Chelsea, but I only follow one team in my life — Corinthians Paulista.
“And I therefore follow Corinthian-Casuals because they are the team that has made my Corinthians happen in 1910.
“It is strange that right now they are playing in the eighth division.
“But, if I had to choose one team in England, it would be Corinthian-Casuals.”
Unsurprisingly, he finds it hard to follow the club from his native Brazil.
And he revealed he has been inundated with requests for updates and even to stream the match so supporters in his homeland could cheer the boys on.
He said: “Of course, it’s hard to follow, because they are not in the news, but I look at the website and follow the matches on Facebook and Twitter and keep up with the table.
“There is such a special relationship between the two clubs.
“Corinthians Paulista will be playing a final this weekend, but I am missing this final to watch another final.
“I wrote an article in Brazil explaining I was going to watch Corinthian-Casuals — and there were more than 100 comments from fans congratulating me and even asking me to stream the final for them.
“Many Corinthians Paulista fans follow this club and enjoy hearing about them.
“I believe Corinthian-Casuals have about 135,000 followers on Facebook, and about 90 per cent of those are from Brazil.
“Fans in Brazil would love Corinthian-Casuals to come back here in two or three years.”
Corinthian-Casuals travelled to Brazil for a friendly in 1988 — and the great Socrates donned a pink-brown shirt for part of the game.
And Danilo helped organise the return in 2015.
Unfortunately for him, Corinthian-Casuals agonisingly lost their play-off in a penalty shoot-out after a dominant performance had yielded a 0-0 draw.