World Cup diary: the Brazilian family keeping all six fingers crossed for victory
Silva clan hope to be team's lucky charm as they try to become six-time champions
As Brazil chases a sixth World Cup title, the Silva family are back in the spotlight, AP reports, because the family all have six figures on each hand.
“Since the last World Cup we wanted Brazil to become hexacampeão [six-time champion],” said Ana Carolina Santos da Silva, "so we can show with our six fingers the number of times Brazil has won. But it didn’t happen, so this year we really want Brazil to achieve the sixth.”
The family, 14 members of which from four generations have the genetic condition polydactyly, came to the attention of Brazilian media at the last World Cup, but couldn't bring the team the luck they needed.
Will it be different this time? Fingers crossed ...
Punditry of the day:
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill reacts to a bit of #BANTZ by demanding Patrick Vieira and Fabio Cannavaro show him their European Cup medals and reducing them both to embarrassed silence:
Getting flashbacks sitting next to Martin O'Neill, feel like being back in the tunnel with Keane...need to sort him out...like in the tunnel
— Patrick Vieira (@OfficialVieira) June 20, 2014
Vine of the day:
The inspirational Roy Hodgson, who will be rewarded for England's success at the World Cup with another two years
A well-known Brazilian columnist embarrassed himself this week after bumping into Felipe Scolari and publishing an exclusive interview with the Brazil boss.
Mario Sergio Conti was on a plane from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo when he saw Scolari, reports AP. Big Phil gave him a lengthy exclusive, which was published on the websites of the influential Folha de S.Paulo and O Globo.
One problem - the man was really Vladimir Palomo, who makes a few extra bob by impersonating the Brazil coach. When it became clear that Scolari had spent all day in Fortaleza, more than 2,500kms from Rio and Sao Paulo, the two websites hastily took down the story and apologised.
An exhibition of World Cup jerseys in a shopping mall in Salvador has some fans bemused, even angry, reports AP.
The exhibition features shirts going back to the first World Cup in 1930 - including a swastika-branded Germany shirt from 1934.
“Is this a joke or what? Germany 1934, a despicable time,” Swiss fan Rolf Zettel said. “Is this OK? No it’s not OK.”
In another case is a black Mussolini-era Italy shirt with the fasces symbol of Italian Fascism on it.
“Yes, there was a little problem about this jersey,” doctor Duda Sampao, the owner of the collection, said. “It’s a historical jersey and a little before we started this exhibition, we talked about it with the people who were involved and everyone said it’s OK, there’s no problem because it’s a historical jersey.”
Forest of goals in Salvador
57% MORE GOALS THAN THIS STAGE IN 2010!!! Yes, the World Cup's been THAT good. pic.twitter.com/78DtWmV6aM
— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) June 19, 2014
As the above chart shows, the goals have been flying in in this World Cup; in Salvador, a plan to plant trees for every one scored at the city's stadium is running into trouble because of the glut.
For every goal scored, 1,111 trees will be planted, roughly the area of a football pitch. But after the Netherlands' 5-1 thrashing of Spain and Germany’s 4-0 rout of Portugal in the first two games, local sponsors are struggling to pay for the 11,110 trees already required.
"As they’ve scored quite a lot of goals already, we need more trees and so are looking for new partners - including the national teams and even players themselves," Patricia Mazoni, a consultant for the Gol Verde (Green Goal) project, told Reuters.
UPDATE: The latest match at the stadium was Switzerland 2 France 5.
Better make that 18,887 trees.