London 2012: Brazil men's football team face Egypt at Cardiff
Published: 26th Jul 2012 07:16:33
Brazil, one of the world's top footballing nations, is ready for its second game in Cardiff after the city's launch of the 2012 Olympics was hailed as "fantastic".
The city is again preparing to welcome fans from all over the world.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said Wales had proved to be an international host and London 2012 chairman Seb Coe said Cardiff felt like "an Olympic city".
However some people missed the start of the opening match due to long queues.
It brings people from all around the world to Wales and also it brings an event to Wales for local people to see... it's a win-win all round”
Officials at the Millennium Stadium said there had been "teething problems".
They included some people being a few minutes late for the first game due to bags being searched, and food running out in one area after "high demand".
Overall though, the first day of London 2012 was hailed a success.
Carwyn Jones said Wales had been in the spotlight and had been given an "opportunity to show people across the globe what a fantastic host we are for top sporting events".
Seb Coe said Cardiff had a "different feel about it", adding: "I felt I was arriving in an Olympic city".
Millennium Stadium manager Gerry Toms said: "It brings people from all around the world to Wales and also it brings an event to Wales for local people to see.
"So I think it's a win-win all round."
UK Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was in the capital on Wednesday, and said: "I think it's amazing that the very first event of the whole London 2012 Olympics is happening here in Cardiff."
After Team GB beat New Zealand 1-0 on in the opening game, Brazil's women went on to thrash Cameroon 5-0 on Wednesday evening at the Millennium Stadium.
On Tuesday Brazil's mens' team, whose fans are among the most passionate in the game, will play Egypt.
Among visiting fans are Antonio Coelho and his family, who also watched Brazil's women play on Wednesday.
Dr Lolita Tsanaclis, Brazil's honorary consul, said her compatriots would be impressed by the city's facilities.
Brazil's men's team, five-times World Cup winners, are no strangers to Wales, having played a number of memorable games in Cardiff in the past 30 years.
Most Brazilians do not know much about Wales but when they come they love it and they always want to come back”
They are also overwhelming favourites to win gold in this summer's tournament, despite never having done so before.
The best the nation has managed in Olympic football so far is four silver medals and two bronze.
They will open their campaign on Thursday night after the Team GB men's team have finished their first game against Senegal.
But Cardiff's Brazilian carnival began on Wednesday as Brazil's women footballers - silver medallists at Beijing - took on Cameroon.
Mr Coelho, 58, who has come to the UK especially for the Olympics, said he and his family were having a good stay in Cardiff and were staying overnight.
His prediction for the tournament was: "Brazil will win two good medals, men and women."
Sergio Conte, 26, also from Brazil, was in Cardiff on Wednesday with his friend Caroline Foroni, 25, to watch the women's football fixture.
"The girls play with more heart than the men at the Olympics," said Mr Conte.
Dr Tsanaclis, who has held her Cardiff-based post since 2006 but has lived in the city for 26 years, is a self-confessed football fan and hopes to attend the men's game, though not in an official capacity.
"I have watched all the other games Brazil have played in Cardiff," she said. "I also go to watch Cardiff City."
Dr Tsanaclis, who is also secretary of the Consular Association in Wales, said it was likely that people from the UK's largest Brazilian communities, in London and Manchester, would descend on Cardiff for the games.
"The Brazilian support will grow as the competition warms up and hopefully Brazil progress," she said.
There would also be support for both teams from within south Wales, she added.
Wales and Brazil have gone head-to-head in some memorable football fixtures during the past 60 years:
"There's a small Brazilian community in Cardiff and around south Wales. It's relatively active. People get together informally perhaps once a month for a chat or a party. it's almost a tradition now.
"I think a lot of the Brazilian community in south Wales will also go to the closing ceremony as the flame is going be handed to Rio for the next Olympic Games."
Asked what she thought visitors from her country would make of Cardiff's Olympic welcome, Dr Tsanaclis said: "I'm sure that the Brazilian visitors will be absolutely delighted.
"They will find Cardiff a wonderful place. Most Brazilians do not know much about Wales but when they come they love it and they always want to come back.
"The facilities are fantastic in the centre of town, and with the stadium. They will be impressed by Cardiff as a city on the world stage.
"There are lots of options for food and drink, shopping and entertainment."
As well as Brazil fans, it is likely that many who simply describe themselves as football lovers will also be coming to the game.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for young people in and around south Wales to go and see these guys play," said football pundit Ian Walsh, who played 18 times for Wales.
"It's always good when Brazil come to town, to see the team that has won more World Cups than anyone else, to see the natural flair and the joy that they bring to the football field.
"Their fans are so colourful. They bring their own brand of music and celebrate everything.
"It doesn't get better than Brazil."
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. London 2012: Brazil men's football team face Egypt at Cardiff. [Online] (Updated 26 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/1442770-London-2012-Brazil-mens-football-team-face-Egypt-at-Cardiff [Accessed 14th May 2013]
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