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Latin American Pride, Products on Display in US During World Cup


The World Cup tournament is a time when many Latin American immigrants in the United States show their national pride.

With seven football teams from Latin America and the Caribbean competing in this year's World Cup, fans from around the region have a chance to cheer for their home team. One of the most popular teams in Miami is Brazil, which has five World Cup titles and won the last tournament in 2002. Brazilian flags were on display and many pedestrians were wearing the country's yellow-and-green jerseys this week when Brazil played its first match: a 1-0 victory over Croatia. Some of those shirts came from Marlene Derzy, who sells jerseys and other Brazilian products from her shop in downtown Miami.

She says the most popular jerseys are those printed with the name of Brazilian striker Ronaldo. She says people are coming to her store looking for his jersey, but she has already sold out of them.

Marlene says she traveled to her home in the northern Brazilian city of Manaus this month to pick up the jerseys and other goods, including rattles made from gourds by Indians in the Amazon.

She adds that because of all the work, she was not able to watch Brazil's first match on television.

Satellite television companies say people have more opportunities than ever to watch the games in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Some firms have been flooded with new service requests before the start of the World Cup.

Nelson Berru, an Ecuadorian restaurant owner, says the television coverage is helping his business.

He says showing the games on television at his restaurant helps bring in customers so they can watch their teams play, eat and have a good time.

Games played in Germany are shown live during the late morning and early afternoon in the eastern United States. The last World Cup was tough on U.S. business, because games played live in South Korea and Japan aired in the middle of the night, when many restaurants and bars were closed.

Dennis, a Costan Rican salesman at a Miami carpet store, was one of those fortunate to watch this year's games in between helping customers. He could not help but be disappointed, however, as he watched Ecuador score its third goal against his home team on Thursday.

He says Costa Rica's defense is not very good this year, and maybe the team will have a better chance during the next World Cup, to be held four years from now in South Africa.

Dennis added that he was more hopeful about England's future in the cup, and showed off the red English jersey he was wearing. For him and others, it may be easier to root for a winning team than the home team.

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