June 26, 2018 / 7:09 PM / 3 months ago

Brazilians fans bring carnival to Moscow square

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Around 300 Brazilian soccer fans took over a central Moscow square on Tuesday, throwing a samba party in front of the Bolshoi Theatre and taking city police by surprise.

Brazil soccer team fans sing and dance near the Bolshoi Theatre in central Moscow, one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Latin Grammy award nominee Diogo Nogueira, himself a soccer player until a knee injury ended his sporting career, sang from an open-top bus as the square turned into a sea of green and yellow, Brazil’s national colors.

“The World Cup is not only (about) football. It’s a unity of cultures,” said samba drummer Wallace Leite, whose face was painted a bright green. “I’m here to represent Brazil to all these people, to show a little bit of Brazil and of course to learn (about) Russian culture as well.”

Moscow police soon asked the bus and its powerful sound-system to move on, bringing the street party to a close.

But Russians and foreign fans still got a taste of Brazilian culture.

“Though I’m not a football fan at all, there’s a mad energy here... I feel great,” said one Muscovite, who gave her name as Asira. “It’s a Brazilian carnival, a Brazilian soap opera. Everything here is Brazilian.”

Brazil will next Serbia in their final Group E match in Moscow on Wednesday.

The five-time World Cup winners have been criticized at home for their performance in the tournament so far, drawing with Switzerland and securing a last-gasp victory over Costa Rica in the very final moments of the match.

Reporting by Victoria Buravchenko; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by David Stamp

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