Like most big conglomerations in Brazil, Goiânia, a city of 1.4 million souls nestled in the country's midwestern belt, goes by a couple of nicknames. It is both the Capital of the Cerrado (a tropical savannah that runs through the state of Goiás and neighbouring Minas Gerais), as well as the rather more poetic City of Eternal Springtime.
A glance at recent trends in local football suggests another moniker that would be equally apt. With Goiás Esporte Club – known by fans as the Esmeraldino – continuing to confound expectations in the Campeonato Brasileiro, Goiânia has turned into something of an Emerald City, sparkling cheerfully in Brazil's football landscape.
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