One of the biggest draws at this year's FIFA U-17 World Cup, Brazil, rolled into the country on Tuesday. The team, who will be the cynosure of all eyes, landed in Mumbai at 8 am, but without star player Vinicius Junior. The 17-year-old teen sensation will join the team on Saturday, according to the team officials. The forward, who La Liga giants Real Madrid recently bought for a reported €46 million, is said to be with his current club Flamengo back in Brazil.
Incredibly, the Brazil team have travelled to India with a bulging 17-member support staff, which includes a chef, the head of the delegation, Milton Dantas and a supervisor. In fact, it is learnt that the chef Eduardo Rezende and the supervisor Raul Facchini arrived in the country a week ago to arrange everything.
The Brazilian Football Federation's emphasis on fitness and the well-being of their youngsters is also evident in the fact that the 17-member support staff entourage includes a fitness coach, Rodrigo Saar, a doctor, Wallace Espada, a physiologist, Tame Kanope, and two physiotherapists, Bruno Leite and Guilherme Bianchi. While Saar, Espada and Kanope are associated with Brazilian club Cruzeiro, Leite is with Atletico Mineiro and Bianchi works for Botafogo. Also accompanying the Brazil team are performance analyst Uendell Macedo, who works with Corinthians, and two kit managers.
By contrast, the New Zealand team who Brazil will play in a friendly at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday, have brought eight support staff members including the coach Danny Hay. The team has also been given top-notch security and travelled from the upscale Mumbai hotel, where they are ending put up, to the Mumbai Football Arena, with a police escort. On the other hand, the Indian team has a support staff of 13, including the media manager. However, when the team travels abroad for exposure trips or tournaments, only five or six support staff members are sent along with the players.
The Brazilian team had a two-hour training session at the Mumbai Football Arena on Tuesday. Brazil have been placed in Group D along with DPR Korea, Niger and Spain.
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Updated Date: Sep 26, 2017 21:53:14 IST