Bolt from the blue

Bolt from the blue
Massive football fan: Mr Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra has been a diplomat for 42 years and was posted here in 2011.

Germany might be one of his country's fiercest rivals, but Brazil need not worry - the Germans wear white jerseys.

And Brazil's Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Luis Fernando de Andrade Serra, 64, believes that Brazil usually does well against teams in white.

But it is against teams in blue jerseys, like Uruguay and Italy, that they usually falter.

So when the World Cup begins today, this highly superstitious diplomat, who grew up spending hours playing beach football in Brazil, might be hoping they do not meet any team in blue during the tournament.

Mr Serra has been a diplomat for 42 years and was posted here in 2011.

The New Paper caught up with him in his office at United Square to get his thoughts on his team's chances for the World Cup.

We even got him to show his ball-juggling skills, which you can watch on the TNP app.

After more than 60 years, the World Cup is returning to its spiritual home in Brazil.

The ambassador, a massive football fan, said: "I hope it will be a wonderful World Cup because we have all the factors in place - like having the supporters, knowing the pitches well and being used to the weather."

Host Brazil kick off the tournament against Croatia at 4am today (Singapore time).

The football-crazy South American country is one of the favourites to win a record sixth World Cup on home ground.

Brazil is in Group A with Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon. Mr Serra said the group is a tricky one, with opponents like Mexico that do well against his country.


Mr Serra said that on paper, Brazil are favourites.

He does have one concern - playing a team in blue.

He said: "When we play white or red jerseys, we are lucky. It is not a rule, it's nothing scientific, but it is what happens."

Brazil beat England, Germany (both in white) and Turkey, which sport red jerseys, for their last World Cup win in 2002. He cited how they lost to Italy and France, who wore blue, in the finals of the 1982 and 1998 tournaments.

The lifelong fan of Botafogo football club used to play up to four hours daily on the sandy beaches of Rio De Janeiro, where he lived. "Football is a religion in Brazil," he declared.

"It was common for youth to play football just for fun, although there were some like me who had never dreamt of being a professional footballer."

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