Brazil football photo gallery

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A number of clergymen will be seeking divine intervention for five-time champion Brazil to power through to victory as the FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday in Russia.

"Many seem to favour the Germans; however, I am an unrepentant supporter of Brazil. I believe they have some of the finest players in the world, and should they 'click', they will be hard to beat. I predict a mouth-watering final between them and Germany, with Brazil coming out on top," the Reverend David Henry, pastor at Swallowfield Chapel, told The Gleaner.

The Reverend Dr Garnett Roper, president of the Jamaica Theological Seminary, asserts that he has been a Brazil fan for decades, but he wants an early battle with Germany, the defending champion.

He reasoned: "They have the strongest team. My hope is that they will play Germany and beat them early so we can take that and put it behind us. Once they have broken that jinx, I don't see them losing."

But the Reverend Astor Carlyle of the Webster Memorial United Church has tempered his expectations of Brazil.

"I'm forever a Brazil fan, but I must admit that I think that Argentina will take it this year. They have a really good team in my estimation, and I believe they will win," he said.

The Reverend Christine Gooden-Benguche, president of the Methodist Church, unlike some of her female colleagues, has a keen interest in football, and she is banking on France to lift the Cup for the second time, following their 1998 victory.

She explained: "The French football team has an abundance of talent at its disposal such that head coach Didier Deschamps has to think more about who to drop than who to start within the playing 11."

The Reverend Gregory Morris of the Mona Open Bible Church is pushing for Belgium.

He argued: "They have fantastic players who have been dominating European leagues for the past few seasons. I look forward to seeing superstars like Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne really maximise their potential in Russia."

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