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Thursday, May 27

Brazilians arrive in South Africa for World Cup

Member of Brazil soccer team during a training session. Five-time tournament champions Brazil touched down on Thursday for the World Cup in South Africa
Five-time tournament champions Brazil touched down Thursday for the World Cup in South Africa. Their arrival created huge excitement.

The team landed at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and left directly for their five-star hotel in the city’s northern Randburg district.

Some fans of the Selecao, as the team is nicknamed, who had turned up to see them at the airport were turned away by police, who had warned that all the teams’ airport arrivals would be off bounds to the public.

Johannesburg residents are hoping to catch a glimpse of them at their hotel or their first training session at a nearby school in Randburg.

Brazil, who are among the favourites to lift the Cup, are the second team to arrive after Australia, which landed Wednesday in Johannesburg.

Star striker Kaka tweeted about his excitement shortly after arriving, saying there was a “great atmosphere.” A motorist stuck in morning traffic called Johannesburg’s 702 radio station to say he had just passed the team bus -- an experience that gave the Brazil fan “goosebumps.” The World Cup kicks off on June 11.

Brazil have been drawn in the same group as Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea. The team first meets North Korea at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park stadium on June 15.

But all eyes will be on the Brazil-Portugal game in Durban on June 25, which is one the most eagerly-anticipated of the 64 games.