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Brazil national team offside with locals

Is Brazil falling out of love with their national team?

It’s unthinkable for one of world football’s powerhouse nations but according to freelance journalist Manuela Andreoni, it’s a very real reality.

Andreoni, who’s based in Rio de Janiero, penned an article in the New York Times this week highlighting Brazil’s lack of enthusiasm for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after hosting the tournament just four years ago.

She told Afternoons Brazil’s “economic and political crisis” played a part in the shrinking popularity of the Seleção and the “distinct lack of enthusiasm” for the world game’s showpiece event.

“Brazil isn’t feeling very celebratory right now,” she said.

“Our local teams here are facing a crisis and have big debts so they can’t keep the good players here (in Brazil), which means the football being here isn’t of very good quality.

“People would normally paint the streets and have big watch parties but none of that is happening right now.”

Rio hosted the Olympics in 2016, with an entire complex built specifically for the Games in the Barra region, which Andreoni confirmed was currently in a state of disrepair.

“Rio is facing a very big crisis and the city is looking way worse than it did during the Games,” she said.

“The Maracana stadium was destroyed and re-built for the World Cup and a lot of people feel personally hurt by that. The people felt that was their home.

“It has became a symbol of what’s wrong. It’s not looking good.”

Click PLAY to hear our full chat with Manuela