Page last updated at 09:19 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:19 UK

Brazil missionary prays for a win

Daniel O'Brien with the children of his Brazilian ministry
Daniel O'Brien takes his love of Cardiff City to a shanty town in Brazil

Cardiff City fans across the world are praying for a Bluebirds win in the FA Cup final with Portsmouth on Saturday.

And a good many are hoping to the make the journey from their far-flung corner of the globe to see the team in action.

But none are praying harder (for a ticket but at least a win) than Daniel O'Brien, 67, an evangelical missionary in Brazil.

He has spent 18 years bringing his love of the Lord - and the Bluebirds - to a slum in Brazil's third largest city.

Pastor O'Brien heads an evangelical mission in the favela or shanty town area of Belo Horizonte, a city of 2.4m people in south east Brazil.

The Grangetown-born fan has returned to Wales every two years since moving to Brazil in 1990 as a widower. He remarried and has another son, Lucas, 13.

At least here in my area, the Vila Leblon know who Cardiff City are and they certainly know about Wales - I remind them that Wales beat Brasil 1-0 once
Pastor Daniel O'Brien, Brazil

Belo Horizonte has Brazil's second biggest football stadium, Mineirão, shared by two two teams Cruzeiros and Atletico.

Pr O'Brien said: "As you can imagine they are fanatical here for their football teams.

"Our families in the favela Vila Leblon always ask me on Mondays 'did Cardiff City win again this week'.

"They cheer me up when the result has gone against us, and cheer with me when they win.

"At least here in my area, the Vila Leblon know who Cardiff City are and they certainly know about Wales (Pais De Galês).

"I remind them that Wales beat Brasil 1-0 once.

Daniel O'Brien with the missionary man and van
Que sera sera - Pr O'Brien hopes he will be going to Wembley too

"I log onto the internet every Saturday to find out the results of Cardiff City first, and when I have the time, I linkup to the live text that changes every two minutes.

"That's how I got the result of the first half of the semi final."

He watched the second half of the game against Barnsley over the internet after his son in Wales, David, put a webcam in front of his TV.

He said: "Praise God tears of joy were flowing freely - my prayers answered - Cardiff were in the final.

"My ministry team is very supportive of my team and will be praying with me for them to win the FA Cup."

Pr O'Brien is still praying for some tickets to turn up in the post but, failing that, he hopes his local TV station will screen the match live for him and his flock.




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