Brazil is braced for World Cup freeze

BRAZIL is set to come to a familiar standstill during the football World Cup, with the national heroes expected to deliver a sixth title in South Africa.

BRAZIL is set to come to a familiar standstill during the football World Cup, with the national heroes expected to deliver a sixth title in South Africa.

Brazil open their campaign on June 15 against North Korea, and if they go all the way to the July 11 final the nation of 190million will be glued to their television sets seven times.

"There is a complete standstill when the Selecao plays," says local taxi driver Ronildo.

The cab driver reveals that he is not really a football fan, but proceeds to discuss the game for the next 30 minutes.

This is no surprise as there is arguably no country on the planet that can match Brazil for its football passion.

"We are a people of 190million football coaches," said Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will naturally also travel to South Africa for the World Cup.

The real Brazil coach, Carlos Dunga, will have to live with the fact that every decision he makes will be collectively analysed, and so will the players' moves.

Brazilian companies are set to give their employees the afternoons off on Brazil's match days, fully aware that work is impossible when Luis Fabiano, Kaká, Robinho and company take to the pitch.

The World Cup is the main topic at parties, in bars and restaurants. Brazilian flags hang from the balconies of Sao Paulo and have been fitted to cars there and across the country.

Fireworks, the traditional way to celebrate goals and victories, are also a top seller.

There is no escape as the World Cup also features prominently in television adverts. - Sapa-DPA

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