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Brazil vs Croatia - Samba the night away

Brazil vs Croatia. The samba rhythm has been beating throughout Berlin for the last two days. you are greeted at every almost every corner with a Brazilian flag, an ĎOlaí and some hip wriggling.

Of course, the Croatians came to town as well, but their rhythm was less infectious and almost a little more confrontional. Nevertheless, fans were friendly towards each other.

Because we tried to go to the Olympion Stadium, we ended up missing the France-Switzerland game. Instead, we spent two hours trudging along, look for an amphitheater in the woods.

A ticket from the black market for the game is EUR250. A ticket for a samba concert with a large screen showing of a football game a stoneís throw away from the real stadium is EUR20.

The crowd was simply amazing. Brazilians converge to any city theyíre playing in, and itís pretty much samba time. you might think itís an exaggeration, but they hit a beat and thereís no stopping them.

In performance was Ivete Sangalo, apparently very famous in her native Brazil. A two-hour long Samba party at the expense of the France-Switzerland game.

After the concert, we all settle down for the big Brazil game. Everywhere you looked in the amphitheatre, you see Brazillian fans, mostly wearing jerseys bearing the names of Ronaldinho or Robinho. Not much in the way of Kaka, though. Throughout the partying, the odd Croation grinned sheepishly at one another.

Brazil actually played well against a gritty Croation side. They have this ability to pass the ball amongst the midfield, looking for the free man. When they finally find him, he will burst forward looking for a chance. Thatís how Kaka picked up the ball, nimbly stepped away from the midfielder rushing back to provide cover and scored with a sweet drive into the top-left corner.

Immediately, the Brazilian fans danced some more (itís not like they stopped dancing). Every touch by Ronaldinho was acknowledged and applauded, even if it didnít lead to anything. It is the Brazillian nature to celebrate.

Even though they were only one-nil up, Brazil strolled through the second half like nothing was the matter. Even though Croatia came close once or twice, the samba atmosphere rolled on. I have no idea what they woud have done if the score was equalised. Probably samba a little less loudly.

The game ended 1-0 to the Brazillians, and we spilled out and funneled ourselves into the train stations.

And guess what? Yup, the Brazillians were still dancing.

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posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - permalink
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