Brazil v Chile, 2014 FIFA World Cup, Round of 16 – 28 June 2014

Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte

 

A city that lives and breathes football…

The state capital of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte is a city that lives and breathes football and has a reputation for producing world-class players.

Pelé was born in Três Corações, Minas Gerais and Ronaldo made his name as a teenager playing for Cruzeiro in Belo Horizonte. The city is also the birthplace of 1970 World Cup winner Tostão and World Cup winners, Gilberto Silva (2002) and Piazza (1970), started their illustrious careers there.

At the age of 21, Gilberto Silva started his professional career at local club, America, before moving to Belo Horizonte based Atlético Mineiro when he was 24. Piazza was born in Ribeirão das Neves, a metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, and started playing for Atlético’s neighbours, Cruzeiro, in 1963 when he was 20 years old.

Marta, five- time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year winner, also started her career in Belo Horizonte playing for the amateur side Santa Cruz, where she played in several seasons of the best local amateur football championship, the Copa Centenário de Belo Horizonte.

Domestic success on the pitch…

In July 2013, Belo Horizonte based Atlético Mineiro sensationally won the Copa Libertadores, South Americas Intercontinental championship. in November 2013, Cruzeiro then followed this up by winning the Campeonato Brasileiro – the Brazilian league title – capping a momentous year for the city.

Saturday’s big game…

On Saturday 28th June, World Cup Hosts and tournament favourites, Brazil, will play Chile in the Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte. A huge game for both teams, the stadium is set to be full to capacity with both Brazilian and Chilean fans. Chile’s training base is also in Belo Horizonte at Cruzeiro’s state of the art facility, known as Toca da Raposa – one of the best training centres in Brazil.

A lucky omen…

The three national teams that are based in Belo Horizonte and the state of Minas Gerais during the World Cup (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) have all qualified for the Round of 16. Six out of the eight teams that played in Belo Horizonte in the group stages (Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Costa Rica, Colombia and Greece) have also qualified for the Round of 16.

A warm welcome home…

As the Brazilian national team heads to Belo Horizonte, there are a few players who will be greeted with open arms by the city’s people – a number of the squad are returning home for this momentous game:

Bernard [Bernard Anício Caldeira Duarte] – Forward

  • Born in Belo Horizonte on 8th September 1992,
  • Started playing at the Atlético Mineiro academy in 2006
  • A key player in Atlético Mineiro’s 2013 Copa Libertadores victory.

Fred [Frederico Chaves Guedes] – Forward

  • Born in Teófilo Otoni, Minas Gerais on 3rd October 1983,
  • Started playing at the América Mineiro academy in 2003.
  • Went on to play for Cruzeiro in Belo Horizonte.

Victor [Victor Leandro Bagy] – Goalkeeper

  • Currently plays for Atlético Mineiro and played a key part in the 2013 Copa Libertadores victory
    • He saved three penalties in a shoot-out against Tijuana (Mexico), quarter-final;  Newell’s Old Boys (Argentina), semi-final; Olimpia (Paraguay), final
    • All three matches were the second leg of the respective round and defeat  would have eliminated Atlético
    • Victor was then given the nickname “Saint Victor of Horto” – Horto is the nickname of the Independência Stadium, the home stadium of Atlético Mineiro.

Jô [João Alves de Assis Silva] – Forward

  • Currently plays for Atlético Mineiro and was part of the 2013 Copa Libertadores winning squad

Jefferson, Maicon, Ramires and Maxwell are also members of the current Brazil squad and have all played for Cruzeiro during their careers.

 

For more information:

In Brazil: Hettie Allison, VERO Communications – hallison@verocom.co.uk / +55 21981030104

Or

In London: Robert Fawdon, VERO Communications – rfawdon@verocom.co.uk