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Confederations Cup

Capital of all supporters

Renato Alves - Correio Braziliense

Sheila Oliveira


15/06/2013 18:21



15/06/2013 18:44

The city that hosted the opening of the Confederations Cup has representatives from almost all countries. Among the 2.5 million residents in the Federal District, 8,577 are foreigners, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE – census 2010). For the next two weeks, many of them will gather at friends´ home, in bars, in restaurants and embassies to watch the matches. Some were at the new National Stadium in Brasilia Mane Garrincha to watch the match between Brazil and Japan and even intend to travel to see the 2014 World Cup friendly matches.

Correio Braziliense interviewed some of the supporters from seven foreign teams participating in the Confederations Cup to know their stories and their expectations for the competition. Most revealed to root for Brazil, mainly in the games against other teams than their own. Japanese and their descendants are the most excited about the possibility of seeing Brazil playing against Japan so close to home.

Tahiti island, in the Pacific Ocean with 270 000 inhabitants, has the smallest crowd in the Federal District, which there isn´t diplomatic representation or a citizen enrolled in the so called “babel” of the University of Brasilia (UnB). Brazil´s Ministry of Justice could not tell if there are legal Tahitians living in Brazil.

A family of supporters
Edilson Rodrigues/CB/D.A Press
When I heard that Brazil and Japan would play in the inaugural match of the Confederations Cup, the P.E. professor Sérgio Cunha Octavius Hayakawa (photo: with her mother, Satiko Hayakawa), 45, ran to the computer and only left it after getting the tickets for the whole family. Today, he took his 12 and 21-year old children to the new stadium. "Let's root for Brazil, but we express sympathy for Japan," says Sergio, grandson of Japanese who came to Brazil by ship to pick coffee in the interior of São Paulo. Later on the family moved to Brasilia during its construction, and the family became pioneers in vegetables growing in Riacho Fundo, one of the Federal District satellite cities.

Passion for Celeste
Marcelo Moreira/CB/D.A Press
The Uruguayan Cesar Rosimo Tony, 45, arrived in Brazil in 1989, when he found out about his gaucha girlfriend's pregnancy, a massage therapist Karen Cury, 41 ( photo: the couple with their daughter Karen). "Ten years later, with two children, they received an offer to work in Brasilia, and have been here for 13 years," he says. In the Brazilian capital, the Uruguayan, whose job is a carpenter, built a bespoke furniture company. The entrepreneur just gives up hope for the Brazilian national team when there is game of Celeste Olímpica. For him the only player who can save the Uruguay is Diego Forlán, the striker of the International of Porto Alegre. "He´s the athlete with the most matches and goals in the history of our country, he puts so much love when he plays."

Two jerseys
Viola Júnior/Esp. CB/D.A Press
Guillermo Ramirez, (photo), 31, is the son of a Mexican father and a Brazilian mother. More than a team supporter, he is a soccer fan. At the Confederations Cup, he decided to root for both teams. He will wear both jerseys, Brazil and Mexico. "Brazil´s will be worn over the Mexican´s. If anything goes wrong, I will take it off and keep Mexico´s only. By doing this, I always win," jokes the English teacher from the School of the Nations. He’s been living in Brasilia for three years, left Mexico, where his family lives, claiming that he was coming to attend the wedding of a cousin in the Brazilian capital. But the bags were packed as someone was coming to stay. "Brasilia, you either love or hate. I'm more towards to the ones who love it," he says.

Among friends
Bruno Peres/CB/D.A Press
n Spain, the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona is great or even greater than those of Flamengo and Vasco or Cruzeiro and Atlético in Brazil. Pedro Miguel Xavier (photo), 43, is almost an exception. Born in Madrid, he roots for the greatest team in the Spanish capital. However, he nourishes immense admiration to for arch rival Barcelona. Married to an English woman and father of two Spanish Belgian citizens, Pedro will see Spain match in Brasilia, where he has lived for three years. "We’re going to watch the games at friends’ house. We are about 20 Spaniards," says the Madrid native, resident of South Lake and a financial manager of the European Union Delegation. When asked about the Brazilian capital, he praises it: "The people and the atmosphere are wonderful in Brasilia. I’ve never seen a capital of a country with such a nice climate like here."

Proof of love
Janine Moraes/CB/D.A Press
The Italian Luisa Santini, 25, accepted her Brazilian boyfriend´s request, who is a mad soccer supporter. Working even on Sundays to pay their wedding bills, scheduled for the end of the year, in Italy, Luisa thought it was unnecessary to spend on tickets for the Confederations Cup games. But she and her future husband not only bought the tickets for the opening match today as they will go to Salvador to watch Brazil and Italy game on Saturday. In the confrontation between Italians and Brazilians, both agreed to change jerseys. She will wear the yellow jersey of the Brazilian team at the new Fonte Nova Stadium, and he will wear the blue jersey of Italy. "My boyfriend convinced me that it will be a unique, exciting moment for both of us," says Luisa.

Ronaldinho's idol
Saheed Adeyemi, 28, roots for Nigeria, Brazil and Atlético-MG. He is Nigerian, has lived in Brasilia since 2006 and loves Ronaldinho, the number 10 of the Rooster. "Many people in Europe say that he's done. I wanted him to play for the 2014 World Cup to prove that he still has talent," says Adeyemi. Saheed is still trying to buy tickets to see his team in Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Fortaleza, the first phase of FIFA tournament. However, he finds the tickets too expensive. Living in Guara, one of the Federal District´s satellite cities, this young man came to Brazil and to Brasilia after being granted a scholarship from the Brazilian government. But his university registration for the economics course is stopped; while he is not back to university, he invests in the modeling career.

There are 1,542,889 foreigners living in Brazil regularly. See the numbers of countries participating in the Confederations Cup:
Japanese: 134 084
Italians: 100,911
Spaniards: 85,686
Uruguayans: 47,342
Mexicans: 13,827
Nigerians: 3,072
Tahiti: Not telling

Source: Ministry of Justice

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