Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Ja All-Stars, Brazilian greats on show at Stadium

Published:Friday | March 3, 2017 | 3:00 AMLivingston Scott and Rachid Parchment
Former Brazil teammates greet each other at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday. From left: Dunga, Edílson, Rivaldo and Paulo Sergio.

Today's 'Share the love' football friendly, between a Brazilian All Stars team, and a Jamaica All Stars XI at the National Stadium, has been described as a 'once in a lifetime spectacle for local football lovers,' by event organiser Andre Virtue.

He has called on the public to come out and get a chance to witness 'quality and skill' from world class players on home soil.

"Rivaldo, Dunga, Edmilson, Paolo Sergio, Viola, Ze Carlos, these are big names and world champions.. So they will see quality, skill football and lots of excitement," he told The Gleaner ahead of this evening's game which kicks off at 7:30.

Virtue noted that initially many people doubted that the event was real when they heard the names that were down to participate but the Brazilians touched down in the island yesterday.

FANTASTIC FEELING

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so it is just for the public to come out and see the world greats playing here and see us rubbing shoulders with our heroes. It's a beautiful opportunity and football will win, that's why we call it share the love because we want love and peace and no more violence.

Former Brazil defender Edmilson, who won the 2002 FIFA World Cup, said it is a fantastic feeling being able to reunite with some of his teammates ahead of their clash with the Jamaica All-Stars team.

The squad is made up of Brazil's legendary players from the 1990s and early 2000s and includes Rivaldo, Edmilson, Ze Carlos, Edilson, Paulo Sergio, and Dunga who won the 1994 World Cup as captain.

"In one word, it's fantastic. We can feel again, the same atmosphere we felt when we played (in the past)," Edmilson said.

LOOKING FORWARD

The former Barcelona man said that he is looking forward to the game because he knows that the spectators will not only be cheering for Jamaica but also the Brazilians.

"I feel so happy to be here. I know Brazilian football inspired so many people around the world and I want to give the same inspiration to everyone here in Jamaica," Edmilson added.

The Jamaica squad includes former Reggae Boyz such as Walter Boyd, Ricardo Gardner, Ian Goodison, Donald Stewart and Andy Williams.

Meanwhile, a host of top young local players will get the opportunity to match up against their idols of the past and Virtue hopes the experience leaves a lasting impression on these players

"Alex Marshall, Jahwani Hinds, Chevon Stewart, Gregory Messam Jnr, Malique Howell, Duhaney Williams, Zhelano Barnes. These are the future of our football, so we are giving them a chance to rub shoulders with these greats and hopefully it will inspire them to greatness," he said.