WORLD CUP: Neymar is star attraction as fans swarm to Brazil training
SOCHI—Brazil attracted an army of excited youngsters — including one who managed to break onto the pitch for a selfie — as they held their first training session on Russian soil ahead of the World Cup.
Around 5,000 locals turned out to watch the relaxed session at the Yug-Sport Stadium, next to the Brazilian squad’s hotel in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
Tuesday is a national holiday in Russia and many fans opted for vantage points along the road leading to the stadium, while others filled the stand.
One young boy broke through security barriers and managed to get close to a group of Brazil players including Neymar, taking a photograph before being led away.
However, most fans contented themselves with chanting the name of the world’s most expensive player, who arrived with his teammates in Russia in the early hours of Monday fresh from scoring in a 3-0 friendly win over Austria in Vienna.
Members of the Selecao also had a treat in store for Philippe Coutinho, marking the Barcelona midfielder’s 26th birthday by pinning him to the ground, breaking an egg over his head and covering him in flour.
Those who started the final pre-World Cup warm-up against Austria spent most of Tuesday’s session apart from the rest of Tite’s squad, while Manchester United-bound midfielder Fred was not involved as he continues to nurse an ankle injury.
Brazil play their opening game at the tournament on Sunday, when they take on Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don. They will also come up against Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.