Carnival for capital's Brazilians
There are only about 500 of them in Wellington, but they're about to get very visible.
Expat Brazilians are gearing up for the start of the football World Cup in their home country next week, and are set to support their team in force.
The opening match between Brazil and Croatia, kicking off at 8am on Friday, will be screened at Shed 6 on the Wellington waterfront. Expat Flavio Campos, 30, who has lived in the capital for eight years, will be there.
"I've always been involved in playing or reading about football," says Campos, who helped introduce New Zealand to footvolley, a fusion of football and volleyball.
"Hopefully Brazil get a victory against Croatia, but the most important thing is the community getting together in support."
The Brazilian Embassy, in Customhouse Quay, will be showing most of the games, and ambassador Eduardo Gradilone hopes the team will finally erase the pain of losing when it last hosted the World Cup, in 1950.
As with the All Blacks playing a World Cup at home, there was great pressure and expectation on the team, and the nation was devastated to lose the 1950 final to Uruguay.
"The Brazilian team is on a mission of redemption," Gradilone said.
Former Phoenix midfielder Daniel remembers watching the last World Cup in South Africa with his team-mates at the Four Kings bar. He has since moved home to Brazil and plans to watch the first match at home with his family over a big barbecue. "The first game will be hard for Brazil because Croatia have good players," he said.
He had great memories from his five years in Wellington and was looking forward to visiting next month.
New Zealander Andrew Black will also be cheering for the hosts, with Brazilian fiancee Marina. "They're probably the greatest footballing nation on earth," he said.
Black plays in the So Samba band, which will perform at Newtown's Bebemos bar on June 12.
Football fans are welcome to watch the World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia at Shed 6 on Friday, June 13. The event is hosted by the Fifa U20 World Cup and the Brazilian embassy. Doors open at 7.30am.
The Dominion Post