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September 8, 2009

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Brazil kicks double goal: cup and Expo

FOOTBALL star Kaka may appear at the Brazil Pavilion during the 2010 World Expo, a senior official of the Brazilian Expo team said yesterday.

The official made the announcement as the Expo organizer handed over a 2,000-square-meter space to the country for its pavilion.

Other football stars, such as Ronaldinho, may also come.

The Brazilian Expo team would decide the final list for the Shanghai event according to players' performances in the finals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa from June 11 to July 11, said Alessandro Teixeira, chairman of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency and commissioner-general of Brazil for the Expo.

Brazil booked a place in next year's World Cup by winning its qualifier 3-1 on Saturday in Rosario, Argentina.

The players would pose with and chat to pavilion visitors, but the site may be too small for them to show their football skills, Teixeira said.

Some games of the Brazilian team at the World Cup might be broadcast live on screens in the pavilion.

Football would be involved in every part of the pavilion and feature in a "Happy Room" section, he said.

A huge 180-degree circular screen will be a feature of the pavilion. Visitors will stand in the center of the 400-square-meter room and "feel like a football star who has just scored," Teixeira said.

Brazil will decorate its Expo pavilion like a green "Bird's Nest," the nickname for the National Stadium in Beijing that hosted the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games.

The rectangular pavilion will be covered by green intersecting wooden lace.

The nation will show off the cultural diversity of Brazilian cities, their dynamism and, of course, the ever-present football with the theme "Pulsing Cities: Feel the Life of Brazilian Cities."

Its cities "are alive, like a heart that pulsing rhythmically," Teixeira said.

The pavilion will highlight the transformation of Brazilian cities in search of urban solutions that result in sustainable development and wellbeing for citizens.

Brazil, with its large cities and population, has social problems in housing, transportation, the environment and sewage.

The country would share experiences with China and the world on how to best solve these problems, said Teixeira.

A Brazilian restaurant will serve generous helpings of the nation's culinary delights.

Brazil will invest about US$35 million on the Expo.


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