The World Cup party begins in the football crazy country of Brazil
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Sao Paolo, Brazil
Brazilians celebrating in the streets of Sao Paulo at night (Photo credit: Mohamed Fajah Barrie)
The subway stations in Sao Paulo were dominated with the Brazilian colours(Photo credit: Mohamed Fajah Barrie)
The opening ceremony inside the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paolo at night (Photo credit: Mohamed Fajah Barrie)
Brazilians are convinced that success without enjoyment is a contradiction to their tradition. Also football is like a religion in the South American country, they are really crazy about the sport. The President of world’s football governing body, FIFA Sepp Blatter once said: “Football is Brazil and Brazil is football.”
In the book titled ‘Brazil a football country’ author Betty Milan writes: “Football in Brazil is not only a sport. It’s a creative pursuit where dribbling is an art, outfoxing opponents with malicious feints. In the course of the match it can happen that Brazilians forget to shoot at goal, convinced that success without enjoyment is a contradiction in terms.”
So, the World Cup for Brazil is not just about winning it but it’s also about celebrating it with lot of merriments. Immerging Brazil winning on the day the 2014 FIFA World Cup began on 12th June, a public holiday, how Sao Paulo regarded as the birthplace of Brazilian football was like.
The economic metropolitan city of 20m people could best be described on that day as Green, yellow, blue and lively sleepless city as it was full of the Brazilian flags and merriments. Even the metro stations were dominated with the Brazilian colours as well.
In addition, Brazilian nationals too were dressed in their national colours. In fact most including children put on their national team jerseys.
Tens of thousands of them turned up at the newly built Corinthians arena to cheer up their team which yielded dividend as they defeated Croatia 3-1 with man of the match Neymar Jr. scoring a brace including a controversial penalty spot kick awarded by Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura that was challenged by the Croatian players. The impressive Oscar netted the other. Defender Marcello had earlier scored an own goal to give Croatia the lead.
The Brazilians fans made the atmosphere at the stadium electrifying and defender David Luis who has just completed a move to the French club Paris St. Germain from Chelsea admitted after match that the fans boosted them up to get the victory and thanked them for their support throughout the game.
Brazilians danced in the streets around the stadium and in the centre of town as they sang and shouted names like Neymar and Oscar. Car horns were hooted and there were Fireworks on display in the night sky.
The party had begun even before the game commenced and it lasted throughout the night after the victory which put them in top spot in group A so far on goal difference as the other match in the group the following day saw Mexico defeating an unimpressive Cameroonian side led by Samuel Eto’o 1-0 in Natal.
I’m told people celebrated the victory in other parts of the country. Brazilians definitely want their team to go all the way to the final to make their country livelier during the period of the World Cup.
They also don’t want a repeat of 1950 when they first hosted the World Cup and lost to Uruguay in the final at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. They are looking forward to win their sixth World Cup title on their soil.
Surely Brazil are tipped as one of the favourites but they need to improve as their performance against Croatia wasn’t that convincing. They face difficult task to achieve their dream with the presence of teams like Lionel Messi’ Argentina, defending Champions Spain, Germany, Ronaldo’s Portugal and the impressive Netherlands who thrashed Spain 5-1 in their opening fixture in Group B on Friday 13th June with skipper Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben accounting for two goals each. Van Persie’s first goal was a sensational flying header that might compete for the FIFA puskas award at the end of the year.
African teams in the World Cup are not expected to spoil the Brazilian dream as they are not expected go beyond the second round or quarter-final stage. Cameroon have started poorly and it’s likely that they’ll not even cross the first round because they are in a tough group with Brazil and Croatia.
Sánchez helped Chile to beat Australia 3-1 to go second in group B behind Netherlands. But they too are not expected to poise threat to Brazil.
Credit: Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) & www.sierraleonefootball.com
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