UAE fans welcome Brazil, Iran players

ABU DHABI — It was a pity that the home team—the UAE weren’t pitted against Brazil. Despite that, a large contingent of fans made it to the Zayed Sports City Stadium for the international football friendly between five-time World Champions Brazil and Iran.

By James Jose

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Published: Sat 9 Oct 2010, 12:18 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:34 AM

The game was set up in neutral territory after Brazil chose to play Iran in the UAE capital rather than Iran. Even then, hoardes of Iranian fans, who have made UAE their home, turned up in large numbers to cheer for their team. Armed with flags, horns and banners, the Iranians kept chanting away across the stands and clearly outnumbered the Brazilian fans. The Iranian squad came out one by one to train and a huge roar went around.

There was more to cheer for the Iranians as some of the players in the squad have played professional football in the UAE. Masoud Soleimani Shojaei has played for Al Sharjah, while Mehrdad Oladi has played for Al Shabab. Iman Mobali has played for Al Shabab, Al Nasr and Al Wasl. Mohammed Nosrati has played for Al Nasr, while Javad Nekonam has played for Abu Dhabi powerhouses Al Wahda and Al Sharjah. Milad Midavoodi has played for Al Ahli.

But the massive welcome was reserved for the five-time World Champions, as they set foot on the pitch to train. The Brazilian fans, who too have made the UAE their home, came armed with flags, horns and banners.

The crowd kept swelling as time ticked for kick-off. The approach roads to the stadium were jammed with fans making it from as far as Dubai and Sharjah.

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