Huge crowds cheer the men in yellow on Brazil’s first ever World Cup victory. And most of them weren’t even Brazilians.
Doha, Qatar – There are F-16s flying below and over 60,000 Brazil fans celebrate a World Cup goal. Which is the emphasis?
I got my answer after Richardson scored Brazil’s second goal against Serbia in their World Cup opener at the Lusail Stadium on Thursday. And there was no F-16 present.
Between crushing the opposition and inviting fouls, Brazil continued to mesmerize the 89,000-something present in the stadium. For either of those two goals, the noise level would be far higher than the level that Lusail Stadium has seen during a handful of soccer matches and concerts.
Brazilians love their football. The rest of the world does the same by showing hands on Sundays. And it’s not a secret.
When Kozhikode in India And Lyari in Pakistan Bring on the murals, flags and replica T-shirts bearing the names of great Brazilian players past and present, you know it’s the World Cup.
And now, Doha has joined that list.
Most of the Brazilian supporters inside Lusail Stadium on Thursday evening were not from Brazil. They have been dubbed “fake fans” by some sections of the Western media, but there was no falsity about the authenticity and integrity of this group, which knew and appreciated what Brazilian players had given to football over the decades. .
Brazil has won the World Cup five times, more than any other team. They lost two finals, and also finished third twice. It’s definitely the success that brings the fans to the yard… but it’s also the swag and the skill.
“The way they play, oh my god, it’s beyond brilliant, the pace, the attack, the style, it’s breathtaking,” Ashiq, who is from the state of Kerala in India, told Al Jazeera after Thursday’s spectacular show.
He shuddered as he thought of the most appropriate adjective to describe the performance before continuing.
“I don’t remember when I started supporting Brazil but I’m glad I did. It’s amazing how they keep producing a range of players.”
Jordan’s Leith remembered when he started chasing the men in yellow and why.
“We have been watching him play since we were little. It’s fascinating to watch him play: the ability, the skill,” he told Al Jazeera.
“You see the second target [Richarlison with a scissor kick after a deft show of pure control] And you’ll know what I’m talking about. No other team can score such a goal. Brazil only.
Carina and Merari are two Mexican friends who are going to Qatar for the World Cup. While her national team remains her true football love, on Thursday Carina donned the yellow of Brazil and the two support Brazil.
Carina said, “It’s because they are part of America, but also because of football.”
“I like them because of the players, they have star quality. We are Mexican but we love football. That is the main reason why we came to watch this match,” Marari replied.
Brazilians, including Juliana, are amazed to see this love pouring in from around the world.
“It’s amazing to see how popular the team is around the world,” she said. “It’s amazing the impact it has. We’ve seen so many non-Brazilians supporting Brazil. Words can’t describe how we feel when our team is being supported like this. It’s good to see other people supporting Brazil.
Brazil has not won the World Cup since 2002. The closest they came to their home was in 2014.
Although the memories of that semi-final will not give much happiness to the fans. Instead they are hoping that samba will bring happiness to the desert this year.