Dancing capoeira, meeting with indigenous peoples and even singing the anthem of Brazilian team Bahia Esporte Clube were only a few of the "off script" activities that helped many of the 26 national teams get closer to the local population while they train for the World Cup before it kicks off this Thursday (12 June). To reciprocate the warm welcome, the national teams wore shirts and held banners in gratitude.
The English team, concentrated in Rio de Janeiro, took a football "trial class" and ended up in a round of capoeira with boys from the Rocinha favela. At the training base camp, the players showed gratitude: “Thank you for the warm welcome”. Another European championship contender, Germany also had its fun in Santa Cruz de Cabrália, state of Bahia, where it is currently training.
The Germans received a group of pataxó indigenous people, who thrilled the team with a tribute dance held to wish a happy birthday to striker Miroslav Klose. And the party did not stop there. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteigger wore shirts from local team Bahia and sung its anthem together with fans of the tricolor. The whole affair ended up on YouTube (video).
“We are pleased and impressed with the joy and commitment of the people of Bahia. Dancing with the indigenous people was a symbol of our players trying to embrace Brazilian culture in the best possible way," said Oliver Bierhoff, Director of the German team. After the interaction, German players trained with shirts that read "Happy to be here" and "Thank you Bahia”.
Mexico, even though it will face off with Brazil in the group matches, caused commotion and was thrilled with the welcome shown by the fans in Santos (in the coast of São Paulo). The team is followed by a crowd of fans wherever it goes, especially on the doorstep of their hotel.
Another warm welcome came from the gaúchos (Rio Grande do Sul natives) from the city of Viamão, who braved the cold and packed the city's main square with 10 thousand people to hand the key to the city to the Ecuador National Team. The Ecuadorians expressed their thrill on Twitter: “So much love!”
— F.E.F. (@FEFecuador) June 10, 2014
World Cup Portal