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Sao Paulo - One of the defining images of the World Cup - so far - has been the sight of the Mannschaft - aka the German team - fraternizing with Pataxo Indians a few hundred meters away from the spot where Brazil was "discovered" in 1500. Call it a European re-discovery of the exotic tropics.
Then there's the English Team frolicking by the seaside, inside a military base, with the Sugarloaf as gorgeous backdrop, backed up by a scientific expert in humidity and industrial ventilators aplenty (after all there's the Rumble in the Jungle against Italy this Saturday "deep in the Amazon rainforest", as British tabloids tell it.)
The World Cup - the greatest show on earth - kicks off just as a relentless Made in the West (client states included) anti-Chinese and anti-Russian propaganda/downright vilification shatters all known hysteria levels.
And that means the BRICS are a target; in the case of Brazil, an emerging power sitting strategically over the bulk of the Amazon rainforest just as progressive Latin American integration has dared to turn the Monroe Doctrine into (branded) toilet paper.
Recently, Brazil brought at least 30 million people out of poverty. China invests in medical care and education. Russia refuses to be bullied as in the drunkard Yeltsin years. In the past few years, the World Cup has been all about the BRICS: South Africa in 2010, Brazil now, and Russia in 2018. Qatar in 2022 - if it ever happens - is more like a Gulf petrodollar-fueled bribery racket gone wrong.
It's amusing to check how the City of London - which loves Russian cash, craves Chinese investment and has a soft spot for Brazilian soft power - takes it all in
. With an added strand of British humor, they could easily have interpreted the Rumble in the Jungle as NATO battling it out in the middle of the much-coveted rainforest (think the water wars of the near future).