Zimbabwe and Brazilian national football teams in international friendly

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Brazilian national soccer team jetted in Harare Tuesday night for a rare one off international friendly with Warriors of Zimbabwe.

Local soccer fans including cabinet ministers jostled for a glimpse of the five-time World Cup winners.

The delegations had 126 members.

Brazil are the hot favourites to win the FIFA soccer world cup that kicks off in neighbouring South Africa on June 11.

Zimbabwe, whose team stand a lowly 110th in the world, is hosting Brazil because of its proximity to South Africa.

Robinho believes Brazil are ready for the World Cup and said the friendly against Zimbabwe will be good preparation for the finals in neighbouring South Africa.

The match will take place at the National Sports Stadium in the Zimbabwean capital Harare and Manchester City forward Robinho, who joined Brazilian side Santos on loan in January, believes the Selecao is well prepared because they have been playing with the same system and same group of players for a long time.

“Our team has been ready since quite a long time ago,” Robinho said. “This group has been together in the qualifiers, in the Confederations Cup. We are hopeful we can have a great World Cup” he told reporters.

According to reports, Kaka is not expected to start the match on Wednesday as he is recovering from a groin strain.

Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri said the entire force was on high alert to thwart criminal activities, as it always has, but more so because of the international spotlight on Zimbabwe.

The big match is expected to start at 3:30pm and indications are that it could draw a full-house 60 000 capacity crowd with the majority of the fans hoping for a dream date with the Samba Boys.

There were reports last night that fans were travelling all the way from a number of neighbouring countries to get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch the Brazilians in action.

The first phase of ticket sales in Harare created a rush with hundreds of people rushing to buy the tickets. The ticket sales, which were continuing right until midnight yesterday, will continue this morning.

2010 World Cup  South Africa's preparation to host the games on African soil for the first time but also individual African countries' determination to take part in the historic event. Five African countries - Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa and Ghana - are selected to join twenty seven teams from around the world to battle it out on the football pitch for the gold trophy. One by one, the African teams are eliminated, but Africans will not be bogged down as they rally behind their compatriots on the wings of the vuvuzela, a far cry from the near diplomatic row between Algeria and Egypt during the qualifiers. Ghana are the last team to leave but not before African unity becomes reality...
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