Saturday, February 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Brazil ready to finally get World Cup underway

By
From page B2 | June 11, 2014 |

SAO PAULO — It’s almost time. The day Brazilians have been anxiously waiting for is finally arriving.

Brazil plays Croatia on Thursday to get the home World Cup underway, beginning its quest for a sixth world title almost seven years after the nation was picked as host.

After so much talk about delays, protests and problems, fans at last are getting a chance to cheer for the national team on home soil in football’s showcase tournament.

If Brazil wins the opening game, the fact that the stadium in Sao Paulo isn’t even fully finished yet will quickly be forgotten. A loss, quite simply, is unthinkable for a nation whose identity is so closely linked to its football team.

Brazil hasn’t hosted the World Cup since 1950, when it endured a heartbreaking loss to Uruguay in the final. This time, everybody knows that only the title will be enough to please the home crowd.

“We are all eager to get started, we are just counting the days,” Brazil midfielder Ramires said Tuesday. “We know that the fans have confidence in our team and they are behind us. We have to do everything possible to try to win this World Cup. We know everybody is expecting us to do it.”

Boosted by the home crowd, Brazil is one of the main favorites to recapture the trophy won by Spain four years ago in South Africa. But the other usual World Cup contenders will be trying to spoil the party in the land of football, including Germany, Italy, Argentina and the Netherlands, runner-up in 2010.

Brazil is trying to become the first nation to win the World Cup at home since France did it in 1998. The Brazilians were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the last two tournaments, to France in 2006 and the Netherlands in 2010.

A festive World Cup atmosphere has taken over Brazil in the run-up to the tournament despite the country’s preparation problems and the threats of protests. Brazilians had been slow to get into the World Cup mood, but now streets are being painted with the green and yellow colors and local flags are being displayed on windows of homes across the country.

The crowd support is one of the biggest reasons coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has been saying loud and clear that Brazil is obligated to win the World Cup at home. Players also don’t hide that they believe Brazil is the main title favorite.

“We know that we will have the fans behind us, and together I think we have a great chance of reaching our final goal, which is to win the World Cup,” Brazil starting midfielder Luiz Gustavo said.

Brazilian fans had been questioning the national team before last year’s Confederations Cup, but the title in the warm-up tournament was enough to bring the fans back on board. That tournament also helped show that Brazil has a team capable of competing against the top football nations today. The victory came in a final against world champion Spain.

“The Confederations Cup allowed us to regain our confidence,” said Scolari, the coach when Brazil won its last world title in 2002. “Now we have to repeat that during the World Cup.”

Brazil begins the tournament having won 15 of its last 16 matches, the only loss a 1-0 result at Switzerland in the first match after the Confederations Cup.

Brazil will start the World Cup with the same lineup that won the Confederations Cup, with 22-year-old Barcelona striker Neymar leading the team.

Croatia, led by Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric, will hope to pull off a monumental upset, but the team won’t be at full strength against the hosts. Coach Niko Kovac won’t have forward Mario Mandzukic, who was red-carded in the team’s final qualifier, and experienced midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who had to be dropped from the squad because of a late hamstring injury. Novac was already without defender Josip Simunic, who was banned for 10 games by FIFA for leading fans in a pro-Nazi chant after a qualifying match.

The high-profile opening match will be played at the troubled Itaquerao, the construction of which was delayed so badly that the roof won’t even be fully finished until after the tournament. A crowd of more than 61,000 people is expected at the Itaquerao, including many heads of states.

The other Group A match will be played between Mexico and Cameroon on Friday in the northeastern city of Natal.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

US / World

Man shoots wife, himself at Northern Calif. retirement home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Commuter with measles also dined at Bay Area restaurant

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Orange County case challenges legality of tiered water rates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Thieves crash car through electronics store in San Francisco

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Some California farmers to go without federal water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Congress OKs 1-week bill to keep Homeland Security open

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
US rescinds rule requiring judges to move to Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US, Liberia start 1st formal test of ZMapp Ebola virus drug

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US appeals court: Marathon bombing trial can stay in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Woman knocked out by eggs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Mexico official: Police capture top capo ‘La Tuta’ Gomez

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Well-educated ‘Jihadi John’ no surprise to experts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Unmasking of ‘Jihadi John’ as a London lad shocks Britain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

How GOP can resolve immigration mess

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Unlikely winners of Greece’s surrender on euro

By Mark Gilbert | From Page: A8

A remedy for veterans’ care

By Bill Frist And Jim Marshall | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 28, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Feb. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Feb. 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Poem about heaven helps dog owners when beloved pet dies

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta’s High Museum takes a look

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

.

Sports

Thompson scores 25 points, Warriors rout Raptors 113-89

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Casey McGehee’s move to Giants a homecoming of sorts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

SCC women’s basketball out of playoffs after 74-47 loss

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Vaca advances three wrestlers into semis at Masters

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Spurs snap 4-game skid, beat short-handed Kings 107-96

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Travis Kvapil’s NASCAR car stolen from hotel before race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
McIlroy to miss cut at Honda Classic; Reed leads

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NHL fines Sharks’ Couture $5,000 for tripping from behind

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns agree to terms with quarterback Josh McCown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kyle Busch released from hospital following foot surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bulls expect Derrick Rose back this season from knee surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Testimony: Several Hernandez texts are missing from phone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Approaching ‘last call’ for NHL GMs to tweak rosters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
PGA Tour to move Match Play to Texas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Notre Dame president credited for transforming school dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
MLS Commissioner Garber: Hopeful season will start on time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Gas prices soar in California as supply shrinks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
5 reasons US economy is stronger than Q4 GDP suggests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Tribes from around US gather to discuss legal marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Uber says database containing driver info was breached

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Signed contracts to buy US homes rise to 18-month high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Fiat Chrysler recalls 467K SUVs for possible stalling

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

US consumer sentiment slips in February on icy weather

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Southwest nearly done inspecting planes that were grounded

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Gabriel T. Traub

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Maria Kraszewski

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 2/28/2015

Right at Home: Decor made of bicycle parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Real estate transactions for Feb. 28, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.80 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3