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Brazil given Samba-style welcome in China
February 11, 2003 15:54 IST
World champions Brazil arrived for their first game in China to a Samba-style reception, including dancing girls and trumpeting elephants.
Clowns on stilts, bongo-beating boys and flaming torches also greeted Ronaldo and his team mates in the southern city of Guangzhou as they arrived for Wednesday's friendly against China.
Former Brazil coach Mario Zagallo, who flew in from Europe with the squad, said China had performed well to reach the World Cup finals for the first time last year.
"But if they are to reach the highest level, then it is important China plays more games like this one on Wednesday against the greatest team in the world," Zagallo told reporters.
"I am looking forward to a fun, challenging game," said Chinese midfielder Li Tie, who plays for English premier league club Everton.
"Pressure is not as high as it was for the World Cup," he added.
China, playing their first international under new Dutch coach Arie Haan, will be out to avenge their 4-0 defeat by Brazil at last year's World Cup.
Chinese fans, disappointed by the failure of their team to score a goal or take a point at the World Cup, will be glued to television screens across the land of 1.3 billion people.