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Hurt Brazilian Players Complain About Jeering

  • Reuters, Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:30 PM
Spare a thought for the poor players of Brazil's national team. Not only were they unable to overcome Argentina during Wednesday's World Cup home qualifying fixture in Belo Horizonte, they also had to endure the jeers of their own fans, who ended up applauding Argentina's Lionel Messi instead when he was subbed out during stoppage time at the end of the 0-0 game.
 
"The Brazilian supporters need to give encouragement," defender Gilberto said. "But Argentina come to play in Brazil and the Brazilian supporters applaud Messi. When Messi went off, there were 40,000 people applauding him." Striker Luis Fabiano said: "It's unpleasant for us, we want to do our best and some people come here and jeer."
 
If you can still read through your tears, Coach Dunga said he wasn't bothered about being personally insulted by the fans, "but the booing started at a moment in the game when the players most needed their encouragement." Brazil is in fourth place with nine points after six games in the 10-team South America qualifying group. The top four teams will qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; the fifth-place team enters a playoff.

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