AS the World Cup kicks off in Brazil tonight, one Blackburn Rovers fan is more excited than many.
Lincoln Medeiros da Silva adopted the Ewood Park side as his team six years ago and has followed them ever since.
And the 19-year-old Rovers fanatic from Curitiba, in the Parana state of Brazil, said he can’t wait for tonight’s opener between the hosts and Croatia.
Lincoln came across the club during a match on computer game Pro Evolution Soccer in 2008 and has stuck with it through thick and thin.
The support agent for a bus company said: “I think it is fantastic my country is hosting the World Cup.
“It is a great event that will move the country’s economy and attract many tourists, even in my city which will host four matches of the first round.”
But Lincoln said there had been problems in the country since the announcement that Brazil would be the host nation.
He said: “Spending on stadiums was very high, leaving areas like health and education, which are poor here, without investment, causing civil unrest and motivating many protests against corruption and spending on the World Cup.
“Also, the isolation areas around the stadium will cause inconvenience and jams on other roads. These jams have been very intense during the construction of the stadiums in the region, but these works are good and will help in urban mobility.”
Lincoln has been unlucky in his time as a Rover’s fan,, having witnessed the club’s relegation, but his support has never wavered.
He said: “At the time, the team was led by Paul Ince, who left the team in a complicated situation, but the fans still supported the team and this was something that impressed me and assured a fan in Brazil.
“My friends call me crazy sometimes, others have a lot of admiration, because Blackburn is in the Championship, a fact that makes people end up not choosing the most rich teams, like Manchester City and Chelsea, who have many fans here.
“In Brazil, I know of just five people who support the Rovers.
“At the moment, my favourite player is Jordan Rhodes, who is a great striker, but Tom Cairney and Rudy Gestede surprised me by playing so well.
“I also like the brave goalkeeper Paul Robinson and the legendary David Dunn.
“My first Rovers idol was Morten Gamst Pedersen, who inspired me to learn Norwegian.”
But club loyalties will be put to one side for the next few weeks as Lincoln expects his country to go all the way on its own patch.
He said: “I will passionately support Brazil and it is not just because I am Brazilian that I believe we will win the title.”
When the World Cup is over, Lincoln’s desire is to come to Blackburn to watch a match in the town.
He said: “I have a dream, which is to know Blackburn and be able to watch a match at Ewood Park.”