Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018

F1: Massa's heart beats in Brazil's stadiums, streets


(By Leonardo Nesti)
Fiorano, June 21 - A son of Brazil, Felipe Massa
currently has one eye on his country's soccer fields, another on
its street protests.
The Formula One season is very much alive at the moment and
soon there will be a series of key races for the outcome of the
championship. But a piece of his heart remains in his homeland.
That is both because of the Brazil national soccer team,
the Selecao, who will take on his adopted country Italy
tomorrow, and because of the protests in the streets of Sao
Paulo, Rio and other cities to call for greater social justice.
Massa is a big soccer fan and he knows that football is a
very serious matter in his country.
But what is even more serious is its desire to grow and
become an even greater country, and a more just one too.
In an interview with ANSA, Felipe does not hesitate to take
the side of the 'vinegar revolution'.
"I'm in favour of these protests because there are lots of
things that have to improve, lots of things for the Brazilian
population, for its people," he says.
"I'm definitely in favour. Let's hope it's the start of
something that makes the politicians and the people in Brazil
work to do what is needed.
"Brazil is a gigantic country that has grown a great deal,
but in many ways it still has to grow a lot more," he adds,
while stressing that: "obviously I'm against any form of
But as a typical Brazilian, Massa is also feeling soccer
fever ahead of next year's World Cup in Brazil, which the host
nation 'must' win.
As part of the path that leads up to the World Cup,
tomorrow presents a contest that is a little special for him.
His country will take on his second homeland: the country
that adopted him, the same one from where, many years ago, his
grandparents departed in order to seek their fortune.
"When Brazil aren't playing, I'm Italian and I support
Italy," Massa says.
"But when the Selecao are on the field, my colours are
green and gold, there's no doubt. That's why tomorrow I'll be
supporting Brazil".
When Felipe was 13, children of his age in Italy were in
tears because Roberto Baggio missed a penalty.
But for him and his country though, the World Cup in the
United States was a triumph that they had been waiting 24 years
It is a triumph that they would like to see repeated at
home next year.
In this period Massa is busy at Maranello with technical
meetings, gym training and work on the simulator.
He is well-loved and is made a fuss of by everyone and he
has a smile and time for a few words with everyone: from the
Ferrari managers to the security guards.
Despite this, he hopes the Italians are in for a little
sorrow tomorrow night.
"We have Neymar, his time has come, but there are also lots
of other players who can perform well," he says.
"We have a young team that is developing. The
Confederations Cup will be good practice for the World Cup,
which we want to win, above all because we are playing at home".
However, he likes Cesare Prandelli's Italy and if he could
borrow a player for Brazil, it would be an easy decision for
"I'd chose (Andrea) Pirlo," he says. "We have good
forwards, a good defence. Pirlo would be useful, he's very good.
"(Mario) Balotelli is a major talent, but I'm happy with
what we have in terms of strikers".
And even though he is far away, tomorrow night his heart
will be in Brazil.
It will be there to give a contribution to cultivating the
collective dream of an entire population - that of having a
greater, healthier, more just country. And, maybe, being the
world champions too.

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