Brazilians decorate streets for World Cup

Sao Paulo, Nov 16 (EFE).- Soccer iconography has taken over streets in Brazil’s major cities as the football-mad nation gears up for World Cup 2022 in Qatar 2022.

Brazil, who have won the World Cup a record five times, are among the favorites heading into the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 tournament, and while the practice of decorating for the competition has lapsed somewhat, neighborhoods across Latin America’s largest country are determined to keep the tradition alive.

Rio de Janeiro’s Pereira Nunes Street has been decorated for every World Cup since Spain 1982, when a resident named Julio got the ball rolling.

Julio, who still lives in the Tijuca neighborhood, has recruited disciples from the succeeding generations to carry on and this year, Pereira Nunes – located four blocks from legendary Maracana stadium – was one of the finalists in a best-decorated street contest sponsored by a brewery.

Notable elements include the faces of all-time Brazilian greats such as Pele and Garrincha and a sketch of a muscular canary, the symbol of the national team.

“En route to the Sixth,” reads a slogan etched on the pavement, reflecting the desire to see the Canarinha (“Little Canary”) lift the trophy again 20 years after Brazil’s fifth World Cup.

Illustrator Rodrigo Habib, the boyfriend of a Tijuca resident, gladly accepted an invitation to participate in the project, as the people on his street haven’t decorated since 1998.

It’s now “very difficult” to find Rio streets that decorate for the World Cup, he says.

“Fewer and fewer of the national team players play (club soccer), in Brazil, a little bit of the identity is lost,” Habib adds by way of explanation.

For taking part in the contest, Tijuca residents received 9,000 reais ($1,700) to cover the cost of materials and a giant screen for viewing World Cup matches.

Here in Sao Paulo, several streets are adorned with Brazilian flags and with images of the Qatar World Cup mascot, La’eeb, while a main thoroughfare in the Amazonian metropolis of Manaus is covered by a roof of perforated paper emblazoned with the Brazilian and Qatari flags and the coats of arms of Rio’s four biggest clubs: Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and Botafogo.

EFE mp/dr

Related Articles

Back to top button