The German men’s national team steamrolled past host country Brazil en route to the fourth World Cup title in the squad’s history. Their next matchup in Brazil might not be against Neymar and company but could be against a side with plenty of heart and determination.
The TECHO Latin American nongovernment organization has organized a social media campaign seeking a match between the World Cup champions and a team from Sao Paulo’s Anita Garibaldi slum.
The goal behind supporting a match between the Anita Fútbol Club and this year's World Cup titleholder is to call attention to the extreme poverty experienced by millions of people throughout Latin America. As a result, the organization has allegedly sent a letter to the head of the German soccer federation inviting Die Mannschaft to play against the Anita favela side.
“(Germany) was the team that played the best in the World Cup and they helped Brazil by building their own training center,” said Anita player and community leader Elvis Vieira.
It’s unknown of Germany will accept the invitation but Vieira and his teammates have undergone extra workouts with the hope that they could perhaps lineup against the likes of Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm.
“We used to train only on Saturdays and Sundays. The community has always supported us and now even more so,” added Vieira.
In the following video via TECHO, sixteen-year-old Anita player Lucas observes how soccer serves as a welcome diversion from the difficulties he faces residing in the favela:
Some 3000 families reside in Anita Garibaldi, which is located close to Sao Paulo's international airport. They have reportedly survived around half a dozen attempts by the authorities to remove them from land that Vieira claimed was “dotted with eucalyptus trees” before the first residents move there in 2001.
(Hat tip: Global Voices Online).
Video Source – YouTube user TECHO
Online Sources – enca.com; Twitter; El País – Brasil; The Latin Americanist; Global Voices Online