No away fans, red cards aplenty and pure, undiluted passion.

But enough about Saturday’s derby, what did Michael Beale learn from his brief, yet eventful, stint in South America? One, expected the unexpected. And two, most importantly, do not ever take off an attacking player, under any circumstances.

The now Rangers manager had never experienced first-team football when he accepted an offer to work under Brazilian legend Rogerio Ceni at Sao Paolo, until-then frequenting the quieter corner’s of Liverpool’s training base in his role as academy coach. From Melwood to the Morumbi and its 67,000-capacity, you could never accuse Beale of refusing to step out of his comfort zone.

It was to last only six months, but the memories will remain for a lifetime.

“My big memory from that time was when we went to play Santos away,” Beale recalled. It was the day my family arrived in Brazil and Santos was where Pele played so much of his iconic football.

“It’s an iconic club as well and we won 3-1. That was a particularly good day. It was February 15, 2017. My first game was actually in Tampa Bay against River Plate. 

“You’re English. You’re with Sao Paulo and you’re playing a River Plate. It’s a bit unique. Three days later we played Corinthians in Florida.

“There was a mass brawl and three players were sent off in the first seven minutes. There is passion everywhere, it’s not just here in Glasgow.

“In my first game at home there were 25,000 fans waiting for us. I’d come from academy football so it was an eye-opener for me.

“And it was similar to the scenes I’ve witnessed in Glasgow. For me it was a fantastic experience. Learning a different culture. I mean, you can’t make a backwards sub for example.

“If you are three-nil up and you take off the No.10 they moan like hell. It’s all about scoring and creating and it’s a lovely way of seeing the game.”

Beale had been a long-time of South American football, but there no doubt remains a serious culture shock when watching from the other side of the world turns into living it every day. That he handed in his resignation after less than a year suggests an experience he does not look back on fondly, but that could not be further from the case.

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With a rueful smile he confesses to perhaps ‘throwing his toys out the pram’ over decisions above his head to cash in on some of his favourites. Rogerio followed him out the door a week later, with Beale briefly returning to Liverpool before the call arrived from Steven Gerrard and Ibrox.

The 42-year-old firmly believes he is a better coach for having sampled something completely different.

“It was my first time working at first team level on a regular basis,” Beale said. “I’d worked at two huge academies for 15 years in Chelsea and Liverpool. There was obviously a lot of structure there.

“But you go to South America and the clubs are not owned. You are voted in, it’s very similar to the Barcelona model.

“The clubs are deemed amateur even though they are not and that’s just purely because of how they vote for a president. You realise that clubs need to sell so there was a lot of top young talent.

“Eder Militao came out of the academy and onto Porto. He’s obviously with Real Madrid now. There are many others out there playing so it was a really special time for me.

“I probably threw my toys out the pram because we sold one or two players I was really fond of working with. I resigned. A week later the manager left but he’s back working there now.

“Rogerio Ceni is very famous in Brazil, similar to Steven (Gerrard). He played 20 years with one club. He went off and won the league with Flamengo and now he’s back at Sao Paulo.

“It was a wonderful experience and one that I think kicked me on.”

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A feature of Brazilian football that has since followed him to Scotland’s west coast is the away support lock-out currently an acrimonious point of contention between Rangers and Celtic. Safety concerns were cited when the decision to keep travelling fans away was announced last month, but the primary factor is a difference of opinion between the two clubs. In Brazil, though, it was simply a case of avoiding pure bedlam.

“It impacts it because it’s very hostile when you go,” Beale said. “I think the referees are under a huge amount of pressure. Even having just a few fans is better than none I would say.

“But in Brazil there were reasons for that. There was a lot of crowd violence at the Sao Paulo derbies before I went there.

“There was one game when Santos and Sao Paulo parked the buses up and a Santos player sat next to a Sao Paulo player. They were driving in together.

“I don’t see that happening anywhere else in the world. You’d always rather some fans, even if it was only a small amount.

“I just think it adds to the flavour of the game and again, the pressure it puts on the referee if you have a large crowd in favour of one team.”

Was Beale at once reminiscing and making a point regarding what awaits his team at Celtic Park on Saturday? I couldn’t possibly speculate. His Rangers team will play Celtic three times before the campaign concludes, and although the likelihood of reining in Ange Postecoglou’s league leaders fades as fixtures run out, the meetings have a broader significance ahead of Beale’s first full season in charge.

Knocking Celtic out of the Scottish Cup would serve notice to Rangers’ increasingly dominant rivals that they will not be permitted to have everything their own way on the domestic scene, and taking points from them in the league may just make their road to the title feel like less of a formality.

Beale is undefeated in the Premiership since taking over in November, but to shift the dial on Rangers’ fans festering frustrations, Glaswegian football’s all-or-nothingness has required Celtic to cede ground. Their steadfast refusal to do so means, in terms of the title, Beale remains exactly where he started. Internally, though, he insists progress is being made every day.

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“I have to tackle each game as it comes,” he said. “The three games [against Celtic] are going to be different. From no away fans to a 50-50 split at Hampden. That’s going to have a difference on everything.

“For us as a team, it’s been a long time since I came in. The last time we lost in the league was the first week in November.

“We’re now into April. It’s been a long time, 20 weeks of good form in the league.

“We just need to keep repeating it. I don’t care if we don’t get any praise from outside, I’ve got to see the progress inside.

“I’ll judge us on the next game, but listen I know this group is going to be completely different in 11 games time. But I can’t deal with pre-season until this season is done.”