The Brazilians left everything aside this Thursday (24th) to cheer for the national team in the 2-0 victory over Serbia, in their debut in the world Cup of Qatar-2022, a triumph that feeds the hope of winning the sixth championship.
Brazil’s good victory, with two goals by Richarlison, was the icing on the cake of the party set up on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, where thousands of people gathered in a ‘fanfest’ to watch Neymar and company.
Bikinis, Neymar shirts, sequined tops and even green and yellow heels… everything alluded to the national team on the sand and also among the people following the match on the big screens in the bars and kiosks on the sidewalk.
With the two goals from Tite’s men, the first in the 17th minute of the second half, some Brazilians like Milton de Souza, 58 years old, suffered with the delay for Brazil to score.
“You have to be patient, because the Cup is the Cup,” this retiree from Pernambuco told AFP, who, on vacation in Rio, was worried, despite the caipirinha in his hand.
De Souza, who was wearing a green and yellow polo shirt and also drinking a caipirinha, believes that Brazil has “chances” to be champions again this year, but does not see Hexa as a certainty.
The lukewarm first half gave way to a second stage full of joy and celebration in Copacabana, with fireworks and a happiness that plasterer Benildo Ferreira was unable to hide.
“I was worried, but Brazil will reach the final and will win,” said the 51-year-old, who was wearing a blue shirt for the national team.
In other cities across the country, Brazilians of all ages, families and groups of friends also crowded bars to watch the debut of Brazil.
After a long period of political tension over the October presidential election, World Cup “fever” has begun to prevail, said Giselle de Freitas, a 41-year-old street vendor who sold sequined earrings, tiaras and other green and yellow accessories in Copacabana.
“People had resistance, they left to buy really at the last minute, due to the political issue”, he explained.
President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) encouraged Brazilians to wear the national team shirt “with pride”. In recent years, national colors have gained strong identification with supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL).
“Brazil is going to be champion because it’s been 20 years since we’ve won a title. The national team is doing well,” Lula said in a video posted on his social networks, in which the PT player appears wearing a yellow shirt watching the game at home. alongside his wife, Rosângela da Silva, known as ‘Janja’.
England, Spain and France “could disrupt” Brazil’s life in the World Cup, according to Lula, who, however, was confident of victory.
Meanwhile, Downtown Rio turned into a ghost town during the game.
The few people present had their attention focused on Qatar, like Kauã Suarez, a 19-year-old hot dog and beer vendor who watched the game alongside three customers on a cell phone placed on top of his cart.
“I had to work, so I found a way to watch the game”, said the young man, who, until the end of the Cup, intends to “watch all the games, no matter the time”.
Osvaldo Alves, a hotel porter, was less enthusiastic.
“I’m working, I don’t have the patience to watch the game,” said the 74-year-old, who was dressed in a bright red jacket.
“The country always stops when there’s a game. We watch football and it doesn’t change anything for us. It’s a disease in Brazil, Brazilians are very fanatical about football”, he concluded.