• Kol: Selecao fans lose cockiness after shock results
    Times of India | 24 November 2022
  • KOLKATA: The city of joy, as usual, has two predominant teams in this football World Cup - Latin American neighbours Argentina and Brazil. The shock loss of one in the first match, which was followed by Germany's loss to Japan, has made the supporters of the other circumspect and less overweening a little more than 24 hours before their first match against a team that beat none less than Portugal to book a World Cup berth.

    Brazil's supporters say the loss of Argentina has made them realize that all teams are to be taken seriously. "The first game is always tricky, and I do hope our preparations are made accordingly," said Saunak Majumdar in Behala that has turned yellow-and-blue ever since the World Cup kicked off in Qatar.

    "I still remember 2002 like it was just yesterday. The first match against Turkey was a tricky one when we defeated Turkey 2-1 in a close encounter before slamming nine goals past China and Costa Rica. When we defeated Germany in the final, I still thought of how the first game taught us what we expect from teams like England and Belgium in the knockouts. But I also remember that when Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup, my father skipped office for two days and I did not go to school for a week. Now only a superlative performance by Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Fabiano will soothe my nerves," said Somnath Chanda, an IT executive.

    The supporters have come up with innovative ideas even as they prepare for the first match. The Facebook group - Brazil Fans of Kolkata with 8,000 members - are organizing a Google Meet around 10pm on Thursday. The topic of discussion is the 'Brazilian football emotion'.

    But several supporters like Harshit Banerjee are not bothered about tactics nor have any doubt about Brazil making a winning start. "Its Brazil after all...The country lives on football. The country knows how to dream. The country knows how to talk football," he wrote.

    Raja Banik from Salt Lake, who has reached Qatar, said he will watch all Brazil matches live. He had bought tickets two months ago. An organizer of the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017, he will be staying about a thousand kilometres from the Brazilian team hotel. "They are in my heart and in my soul. I have offered pujas for them and I will carry the flowers with me," he stated.

    For others like Ranjan Pal, a businessman who has named his residence as Brazil House, says his emotions go beyond football as his son - a differently-abled child - is a diehard Selecao fan. Ranjan said: "My son's happiness is the biggest delight to me. His favourite team is Brazil. Therefore, we decorated the whole house with the Brazilian colours and named it Brazil House."
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