Rio de Janeiro: Brazil’s national football team met with throngs of cheering fans and angry protestors upon its arrival for the World Cup camp in the city of Teresopolis, about 100 km north of Rio de Janerio.
Riot police were forced into action to disperse anti-government demonstrators at Tom Jobim international airport as Brazil’s team bus departed for their training camp monday, reports Xinhua.
Demonstrators carried signs saying “we need schools, not stadiums” and “There will be no World Cup”.
Later, fans wearing Brazil’s national colours and waving flags cheered the players as they stepped off the bus at the Granja Comary training facility in Teresopolis.
At a press conference shortly after the team’s arrival, the Selecao’s assistant coach Carlos Alberto Parreira insisted Brazilians would support the team during the June 12-July 13 tournament.
“The Selecao are part of cultural and sporting heritage,” Parreira said. “Nobody is against the team.”
Bidding for a sixth World Cup victory, Brazil will open the tournament against Croatia in Sao Paulo, June 12.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said the team would start with a light training program before stepping up preparations a week before the first match.
“We have to take it slowly in these first 10 days and then intensify our preparations in the final seven so we can have our team ready for the World Cup,” Scolari said.
The only player not yet in Terespolis was Real Madrid’s Marcelo. The left-back was due to arrive Tuesday after being allowed an extra day to celebrate the Spanish club’s UEFA Champions League triumph.