The open training in Teresopolis was the only chance local fans had to be with Brazil players since their World Cup preparations began on Monday. Brazil will not be playing their traditional pre-World Cup friendly on home soil before the tournament and will instead play against Croatia in Liverpool on 3 June.
In the first and only meeting with players before they travel to the tournament in Russia, about 200 people were initially allowed in the Granja Comary training ground, but many others broke into the venue after being stopped by police for hours at the gates. No one was injured, but the frustration was evident.
“I’ve come here to see Brazil since 1998 and it was never this distant,” teacher Hilario Santos said. “Even the street on the other side of the Granja, where players usually stopped to give autographs, has been closed. That only adds to the disconnect between team and fans.”
Since they hosted the World Cup four years ago, Brazil have withdrawn more from the public eye, especially after the crushing against the Germans in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte. Coach Tite said the team would need more privacy to prepare for the tournament in Russia.
Neymar, meanwhile, has finished his first full week of training with Brazil in apparent good shape after foot surgery. The striker continued his recovery in the last training session on home soil before Brazil set up camp in London.