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World Cup adventure will be absolutely Brazil-liant
Buy this photo » England fan Bruce Hutt, left, and Brazil fan Plau Varjao
HERE we go again then.Another summer spent biting down fingernails, hiding behind the sofa and praying that Steven Gerrard stays fit lie in wait after England booked their place at the World Cup in Brazil next year.
Pub owners say they will benefit as people splash the cash.
And supporters of the Three Lions and members of the Brazilian community in Oxford say they are looking forward to the iconic sporting spectacle.
Plau Verjao, who moved to Oxford from Brazil 12 years ago, said he was delighted to see England qualify after beating Poland 2-0.
He said: “I was very glad that England got through. I am so happy that English people will go to Brazil as the Brazilian people are very friendly and hospitable.
“When the Olympics were on, my Brazilian and British friends got together and watched the women’s game.
“That was great and I hope to see England and Brazil play each other in the final.”
Mr Verjao, who lives in Cutteslowe and works for the Truly Scrumptious catering company in Botley Road, said the land of samba would host a memorable tournament.
“English people are passionate about football, but they have other sports like cricket and rugby.
“In Brazil it is different. It’s in the blood. Everybody plays football and loves football.”
Abingdon resident Mark Heelis has toured the world watching England with his dad David since 2006 and said it would be extra special to cheer on his team in the iconic footballing nation.
He said: “I am absolutely ecstatic that we have qualified. It’s going to be an iconic World Cup and it is the chance of a lifetime to go out there.”
Mr Heelis, 32, who travels to every game with his dad, said: “The only venue that would surpass this would be to have the World Cup in England.”
How England and Brazil match up:
- 2002: England 1 Brazil 2: Ronaldinho scooped a free kick over David Seaman as Brazil came back from 1-0 down, then went on to win the World Cup.
- 1984: England 2 Brazil 0: John Barnes enjoyed the greatest moment of his career when he cut through the Brazilian defence in their home stadium before scoring a glorious goal in this friendly.
- 1970: England 0 Brazil 1: Jairzinho’s goal beat England, at the time the world champions. The game is remembered for Gordon Banks’s remarkable save from a Pele header – often called the greatest save ever made.
Pub managers in the city are feeling equally relieved that England had topped their qualifying group.
Marketing manager of the Oxford Retreat, Octavia Frai, said: “It’s great news for us as England have a lot of followers and that helps boost trade and business.
“If England hadn’t made it I am quite sure it would have affected business.”
Deputy manager of the Red Lion in Kidlington, Jamie Scanlon, agreed, saying: “We will be very busy for the England matches if the previous tournaments are anything to go by.
“I am ecstatic that we got through and it will certainly help business.”
But not everyone was quite so enthusiastic.
Brazilian Nye Patrocinio, from Greater Leys, Oxford, said the money Brazil would spend should instead go towards improving hospitals and the education system in his native country.
He said: “Hosting the World Cup is very expensive and the money could be spent improving struggling facilities.”
England will find out who they will face in the World Cup when the draw takes place on December 6.