The Confederations Cup in South Africa has attracted football (soccer) fans from around the world to South Africa.
Fans from all around the world have come to South Africa for the Confederations Cup, to cheer on their teams and get ready for next year's World Cup.
The eight teams present at the tournament represent six continents, so fans have traveled from far and wide to support their squads against the best competition in the world. While teams like Brazil, Spain, and Italy attract supporters who demand success in every match, other teams' fans have come to enjoy the country, and hope that their national squads can get some good results along the way.
US soccer fans follow team to South Africa
Mario Lima has come all the way from Montclair, California, to follow the U.S. national team.
"I am following the US team," explained Lima. "I love soccer, I like football. This is the first time that I have gone out of the country to follow them."
Lima says he has come all this way to meet new people and see a new place. He says the people are very friendly, and have greeted him with smiles and been very helpful.
"It is a long way. But it is somewhere exotic, somewhere new," said Lima. "And the US needs support out here. I did not see that many flags out there. I will be the one yelling."
Lima says he has enjoyed his stay so far, and that he is considering returning for the World Cup. Meanwhile, a pair of fans from Brazil, in town for the match against the United States, say there is still a lot of work to be done if next year's World Cup is to be a success.
Luciano Marques, from Belo Horizonte, says the stadiums and infrastructure are not ready yet, and finds that worrisome. He says it is hard to believe that so much construction is still going on with such a short period left, and says that the South Africans will have to pick up the pace if they hope to have everything ready for next year.
Marques says that he has nevertheless been treated very well by the South Africans, and has found that the local population shares his passion for football, even if a good portion of the population prefers rugby.
The Brazilian team takes on the United States Thursday evening at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, in the second match of the Confederations Cup for both teams.