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For football,this is God's country.

Byline: STAN COLLYMORE

For football,this is God's country IGNORE headlines about this being a tough place to visit because my Brazil experience has been absolutely great so far.

I have been to the Copacabana, Sao Paulo and Manaus, and everyone who sees me in my England shirt comes over to talk to me.

Many actually think I am Brazilian because of the colour of my skin - I feel right at home!

Like South Africa four years ago, I was a bit nervous before setting off because of the scare stories. But yet again there was no need. The place is amazing and I have been able to walk around freely without any fears.

Obviously there are protests as not all of the locals are happy to see the World Cup in Brazil and I totally respect that because I understand there are bigger issues that do need solving here.

But one fella made me realise how important the beautiful game is to them. He said: "Our national sport is volleyball."

I laughed, then asked why not football. His reply: "Football is our religion."
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion Columns
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Jun 15, 2014
Words:184
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