Around two hours away from Rio de Janeiro at the end of a road that winds its way intricately through a forest-clad mountain range is the city of Teresópolis. It is one of a cluster of settlements that sprung up around the region’s shimmering gem, Petrópolis, which once upon a time provided Brazil’s imperial elite with respite from the heat and chaos of Rio, 70 miles below.
This has been the Seleção’s home in Brazil since 1987. It was here that the squad trained in the lead-up to every World Cup between 1990 and 2002, and it is here that Luiz Felipe Scolari’s charges gathered on Monday ahead of this summer’s tournament.
They would have expected a warm welcome. The city, after all, takes no little pride in its status as Brazil’s footballing headquarters. This year, the main road into the centre is adorned with cartoon images of Neymar, Pelé and Cafu. But when the team bus rolled into town, it was met with angry protests rather than cheers.
Read the rest of this piece over at ESPNFC.
(Photo: Marcio Iannacca)