For Elias de Souza, 48, of Mexico City, it’s the seventh World Cup he’s attended. He’s been an ever-present since Italia ’90.
Senor de Souza is from São Paulo, Brazil, a country he left in 1984 to go to Mexico. He’s a Corinthians fan.
His son Elias, 23, says he’s Mexican though. The bike is a tandem and can be ridden without the third wheel though it looks precarious and you wouldn’t get me on it.
Elias senior said: “We left Mexico early last year and we have been touring Central America.
“This is my profession. I tour countries and people have a ride and give me a donation.
“We have been in Costa Rica and then Panama and we flew into Recife from Panama three days ago and it took us two days to cycle here from Recife (about 300 kms).
“I didn’t cycle to South Africa four years ago – I flew there through Frankfurt. This is my seventh World Cup.
“Usually I have tickets for the Mexico games. This time we have no tickets though but we are hopeful.
“What do my family think? This is my family – me and my son. After the World Cup we will fly back to Panama and head for Honduras and cycle around there.”
It’s the second time I’ve encountered Snr de Souza.
In Leipzig in 2006, before the last 16 Mexico v Argentina contest he pedalled up the road next to the stadium. Thousands of eyes were on him as he parked next to a lamppost, as in the picture here.
He blew his whistle loudly. Complete silence as hundreds of people waited for words of wisdom.
Then: “Mexico dos, Argentina uno. Porque yo creo en milagros.”
That’s “Mexico 2, Argentina 1. Because I believe in miracles.”
He smiled when I recounted the tale to him – Elias junior wasn’t on that trip.
Dad turned out to be wrong but that didn’t make it anything other than a personal highlight of that tournament.Here, they’re taking a break