When Brazilian fans arrive in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ they can expect a rousing and warm welcome from South Africans. That is according to the Brazilian ambassador to South Africa, Jose Pimentol.
Brazil became the first team from South America to qualify for the tournament when they defeated Argentina 3-1 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on 5 September. This guaranteed them a top four finish in the CONMEBOL standings. The top four teams qualify and the fifth placed team enters a home-and-away playoff with the fourth placed team from North, Central America & Caribbean (CONCACAF).
"This is first time we have qualified so early and that is a positive sign. We now know the place and that makes a difference," Pimentol said.
Brazil tasted success on their earlier visit to South Africa when they won the FIFA Confederations Cup in June.
Brazilian fans have much in common with South Africans according to Pimentol and they can expect a very warm welcome he added.
"I hope that Brazilians in general will come here to love and support the team and I hope that the chemistry between our supporters and South Africans will be a positive one. In fact I am confident of it. We have so many things in common and I hope that our supporters will make many, many friends in South Africa."
He added that planning to showcase Brazilian culture is underway.
"The World Cup is an excellent opportunity to showcase Brazilian culture to South Africans. The agenda is still under consideration. It will be a privilege."
"I think that we have seen a lot of support for Brazil in South Africa. There are many people walking around with Brazilian (football) jerseys and Brazil jerseys are displayed in every sports shop. We are just an eight hour flight away."