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SPORTS | 23-01-2023 17:33

'For the first time' – Lula admits he rooted for Argentina in World Cup final

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva surprised everyone by confessing on Monday that he cheered on La Albiceleste during the Qatar 2022 World Cup. 

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva surprised everyone by confessing on Monday that he cheered on La Albiceleste during the Qatar 2022 World Cup. 

"For the first time I rooted for Argentina to be world champion, because I believed that [Lionel] Messi could not finish his career without being world champion," a smiling Lula said in Buenos Aires during the press conference that followed the signing of bilateral agreements with his Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez. 

"Argentina ended the year 2022 in a privileged situation, not only in the economy and in politics, but also in football," Lula said, laughing: "That's enough. It's over. It's enough. Now it's Brazil's turn" at the next World Cup, to be held in 2026 in the United States, Mexico and Canada. 

Ahead of the World Cup, several members of the Brazil national team publicly expressed support for former president Jair Bolsonaro, who was defeated by Lula in the 2022 elections. Star forward Neymar Jr even announced he would dedicate his goals to him in Qatar.

The Brazilian president also "apologised to the Argentine people for all the rudeness" he attributed to "the last president of Brazil" towards Argentina, without naming Bolsonaro.

Lula is a well-known fan of Corinthians of São Paulo, and during a visit to Argentina, under the government of Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007), he received a Racing Club shirt, of which the former president, who died in 2010, was a fan.

 

– TIMES/APF

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