KOCHI: The craze for football in Kerala, especially Malabar, during a FIFA World Cup season is well known in football circles. However, fans - particularly of Portugal - were in for a surprise on social media on Wednesday. Hoardings, flags and cut-outs lending support to almost all national teams competing in Russia 2018 have come up across the state over the past few weeks. One such display has grabbed the attention of the Portuguese national football team’s social media account.
Portugal, the team’s official Instagram account, shared a picture of a display cheering Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates alongside their national flag.The display board reading ‘Forca Portugal’ was geo-tagged to Kappad in Kozhikode and captioned “Fans in India are ready” by the Portugal social media account.
Incidentally, Kappad was where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498 to become the first European to reach India by sea.
The poster eulogising Portugal captain Ronaldo as the best player in the tournament was installed by a trio of CR7 fans - Danish, Muksith and Ajmal.Portugal, coming into the tournament as the 2016 European champions, will begin their World Cup campaign against Spain, among the favourites for the top prize, on Friday at 11.30 pm (IST).