Football: Brazil's world-famous '12th player' Clovis Acosta Fernandes dies

Brazil super fan Clovis Acosta Fernandes, who became known as the "saddest man in Brazil" after the Selecao's 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup, died aged 60.
Brazil super fan Clovis Acosta Fernandes, who became known as the "saddest man in Brazil" after the Selecao's 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup, died aged 60.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Legendary Brazilian football super fan, Mr Clovis Acosta Fernandes, has died after a long drawn-out battle with kidney cancer.

His death was announced by Hospital Santa Casa in Porto Alegre.

Mr Fernandes sold his pizzeria in 1990 to fund his travels and passion for football. He has travelled to more than 60 countries to watch the Brazilian national team play.

In a documentary by world football ruling body Fifa , which was aired before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil , he said: "I am their 12th player... I'm the guy that cheers, I'm the guy that shouts... You can be sure that I'll end the tournament as the player with the most appearances for Brazil."

Mr Fernandes was well-known in his own country, but he shot to international fame after Brazil's shock 7-1 defeat by Germany in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup.

He was called "Brazil's saddest man" after a photograph of him sobbing in the stands while clutching a replica World Cup trophy went viral.

Later, another photograph showed him giving the trophy to a young German fan, winning Mr Fernandes praise for his sporting spirit.

Mr Fernandes has been battling cancer on and off for a decade, and he recently stopped his chemotherapy treatment, RT.com said.

He went home and died surrounded by his children and grandchildren, Brazilian media reported.

World football association Fifa paid tribute to Mr Fernandes in a post on Instagram, calling him one of the sport's "most symbolic, all-time supporters".