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Sunday, 30 June, 2002, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK

Brazilian 'carnival' erupts in London

By Myranda Mowafi
BBC News Online

Jubilation drowned out the sound of the final whistle as a small part of Brazil, gathered at London's Bar Salsa, erupted into euphoria at their team's 2-0 victory against Germany to win the World Cup.

New friendships forged, fans jumped onto each others' shoulders and hugged and danced to the Brazilian beat as the celebrations began.

"I feel as if I have won the World Cup myself," said tourist Rodrigo Laporta.

"We really need this in Brazil. The country is going through a difficult time, but today that's forgotten, today is a day for Brazil."

It wasn't long before the carnival spilled out onto the streets bringing central London to a virtual standstill as smiling police looked on.

There was nothing understated about this victory.

The carnival fever had long gripped this London bar even before kick-off.

Loud and proud

Ahead of the game, with Samba music blaring out, the bar was awash with green and yellow, heaving with expectant fans, confident they were going home with the cup.

If support was enough to lift the World Cup trophy, the Brazilians had probably earned it before kick-off.

" I'm in my Brazilian strip today because I just want Germany to lose "
John Ingham, England fan

Chanting, whistle-blowing and the sound of foghorns spilled out onto the streets as fans draped in Brazilian flags queued to get into pubs and bars.

There should have been a sign of things to come when hours earlier the normally sober streets of central London on a Sunday morning were buzzing with Brazilian fans feeling very much loud and proud.

People in cars tooted their horns in recognition of any fans in their home strip.

Not all were Brazilians and England fans were as eager to see Germany lose.

England fan John Ingham said: "I'm in my Brazilian strip today because I just want Germany to lose."

But there was also a more sporting feeling of supporting the best side - and Brazil deserved to win.

Settling down to the game, with traditional white rum drink Caipirinha, the Latin spirit simmered and gave way to quiet national pride as their team walked onto the pitch.

Spontaneous applause

Throughout the game, spontaneous applause, the shaking of maracas and whistle-blowing filled the air.

Roars of adulation erupted, often giving the impression Brazil had scored through the goalless first half.

In the 31st minute, a Brazilian run towards the German goal temporarily ended the cheering as heads were cupped in hands.

" I have been very excited before this game and had lots of butterflies in my stomach "
Gleiva Pela, Brazilian fan

There were similar scenes in the 41st minute when Rivaldo homed in on goal.

Brazilian fan Gleiva Pela, 30, a student, said: "I have been very excited before this game and had lots of butterflies in my stomach.

"I feel that there is a lot of pressure on the mind of the players and that is why they are not playing well."

But her waning confidence was short-lived as the second half got under way.

Fans who were sat expectantly on the ground jumped for joy as Brazil scored the first of two goals.

Chants of "Voces sao um lixo" - "You are rubbish" - were screamed out at the Germans, interspersed with yells of "Brasil".

Similar scenes took place as a second goal was driven home when Brazilians launched into an impromptu rendition of the conga, as they knew they were taking home the trophy.

It was just the start of jubilations which ensured a small part of London will forever be Brazil.


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