It comes as a surprise to no-one after an edition of the Campeonato Brasileiro when the figures show that a team from Salvador - either Esporte Clube Bahia or Esporte Clube Vitória - topped the attendance average charts. The soteropolitanos are as mad about football as anyone else in Brazil.
The two rivals comfortably dominate the football scene within the state of Bahia, and have an important national background as well: Bahia, the Tricolor, won the Campeonato Brasileiro in 1988 and the Taca Brasil in 1959 (a predecessor of the national championships), while Vitória have collected three North-east Cup titles and were runners-up in the Brasileiro in 1993. The Leão are also famous for housing one of the best youth academies in the country, having produced the likes of FIFA World Cup™ champions Bebeto and Dida.
One of the most fantastic moments for one to be in Salvador - only comparable to the city's vivacious Carnival celebrations - is during a Ba-Vi, the famous derby between the two rivals. While Vitoria owns the Barradão and EC Bahia plays its home matches at state-owned Pituaçu, the ultimate stage for big matches at the state of Bahia is the Fonte Nova, which has been closed since 2007. The former stadium was imploded and a brand new one is being built upon the same ground to host the FIFA World Cup.