Goa is buzzing to hosts its eagerly awaited match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup! Every street, corner and local joints — have been discussing just one topic i.e. making it to the Fatorda Stadium to witness the biggest international match Goa has ever hosted.
Perhaps, it’s not the FIFA U-17 World Cup final, nor it’s the host nation playing on Friday, but it’s all about the world’s biggest footballing giants — Brazil, who take on Niger in the ultimate Group D match.
Four games down at the venue, which featured Germany, Iran, Costa Rica and Guinea, but the State has been awaiting to watch just one match — and its undoubtedly Brazil.
The five-time world champions have great fan following in the State, who are looking forward to extend their support to the three-time FIFA U-17 champions.
“We have been waiting for this clash from the time we learnt that Goa will host Brazil in one of the group match. Forget Goa not hosting the final, hosting Brazil itself is like the best gift for the State,” said Rita Mascarenhas, a passionate Brazil fan.
Brazil’s most highly rated Vinicios Junior haven’t joined the squad and little do the fans know about the other team members, but that doesn't stop them from cheering the Samba boys.
“I really don't know any players in particular. Read a bit about Paulinho, but I’m looking forward to know them Friday so someday in future I can say that I watched them play live in Goa,” said another Brazil football fan Cleon D’Souza.
Brazil and Goa are geographically separated but the two regions are connected by one common factor — both are Portuguese colonies. Having the Lusofonic ties, the Goan share most things in common with the South America side and so is agreed by the Brazil U-17 team coach Carlos Amadeu.
“The things are similar here like weather etc. We feel home here cause we received warm welcome and also cause of our Portuguese connect,” coach Carlos said.
The Goans have always extended their support and cheered the men in yellow during their every international match. Be it late night or early morning matches, miles away, the Goan Brazil fans always stood by the white screens to back their favourite international team.
Whilst it might take a long time for the senior Brazil stars — Neymar Jr, Gabriel Jesus — to play here, it’s a perfect opportunity for the football enthusiasts to watch the future Brazilian starlets dance to the Samba groove at the Fatorda Stadium.
Today, for sure, Fatorda will be a place to be.