The Christian Science Monitor Weekly

Vol 106 / Issue 29

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A soccer-mad nation Brazil is one of the world's soccer superpowers. The game transcends cultural and social gaps and inspires national euphoria – or national mourning. This year, the fve-time winner of the World Cup will host the championship for the second time, hoping to erase a painful memory. In 1950, the last time Brazil hosted the World Cup, its team lost to Uruguay in the fnal match, 2-1. Starting June 12, qualifying national teams from 32 countries will face off in 12 stadiums across Brazil, attracting some 3.7 million tourists and a televi- sion audience of 4 billion. For now, though, the world is holding its breath: São Paulo's Itaquerao Stadium, where the frst match is set to take place, is still unfnished. Will Brazil be ready in time? STORY BY CaROline KellY / Staff writer 1 2 4 in pictures 1 'pelada' A 'naked' soccer match refers to a pickup game played in bare (naked) feet, on a barren field, or with a ball so worn that it seems 'naked.' This game is being played in the Borel favela (slum) of Rio de Janeiro. RICARDO MORAES/REUTERS 2 Superfan Brazilian lawyer Nelson Paviotti shows off his custom Volkswagen Beetles, suit, and home décor, all in national team colors, at his home in Campinas, Brazil. NACHO DOCE/REUTERS 24 The ChrisTian sCienCe MoniTor Weekly | June 9, 2014

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