Brazil's bingo-ing crazy
© Foto-net

Picture the scene. It's Friday night and a group of teenage boys are in an Asian resort.

What would you expect them to be doing?

Here's an alternative scenario.

It's the night before a team's first match at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. On the following evening, they will play the champions of a confederation in front of 30,000 fans.

What would you expect them to be doing?

The answer to both questions is: play bingo!

In Brazil's team room at their hotel in Jeju, they had an important 21:00 kick-off. Their 21-man squad gathered round two circular tables - and a hush fell over the room. It was time for bingo to start.

However, once Adailson, the kit man began to call the numbers - the room buzzed with excitement. At the centre of the fun were twins Fabio and Rafael. If the wing-backs are as competitive on the football field as they are at bingo, then New Zealand had better watch out!

Undoubtedly, the winner on the night was Alex, who won on no fewer than four occasions - but had the room in uproar when he mistakenly called 'Bingo', but got his numbers mixed up!

But there were no losers on the night - every member of the squad took a prize back to their rooms, which included watches, t-shirts, USB pen drives and socks!

"It's excellent for team-spirit," Brazil coach Lucho Nizzo told FIFA.com. "But the objective of playing bingo is to relax the players ahead of the game. It's becoming a little bit of a tradition to do something as a team the night before a big match - whether it's play bingo or watch a film.

"They're all competitive because a proper sportsman always wants to win - and it's the same for the team officials. We're going to have a game of bingo now and we are far worse than the players!"

Listening in on the interview was Vasco de Gama midfielder Alex, who couldn't resist a few words. "We're all competitive, in particular Rafael and Fabio when it comes to bingo - but even though there were two of them, they didn't win as many times as me," he laughed.

"I am feeling really relaxed now. It was a good game and we all had a good laugh together. We've really been training hard over the past few weeks and we can't wait for our next game. We're really motivated to play"

It was obvious that the teenager was talking about New Zealand - and not about bingo.