World Cup may stretch marital bliss

The match between Brazil and
Portugal in their final game in Group G will generate plenty of banter between
the Portuguese speaking nations. Brazil, five-time winners of the World Cup,
will start favourites in Durban, at 9am Cayman time. With classy players like
Robinho, Luis Fabiano and Elano in the Brazil side, they will be supremely
confident even though Kaka is suspended.

But with Cristiano Ronaldo in
superb form and having smashed seven past North Korea on Monday, Portugal will
fancy their chances too.

For the Cayman-based Reis family,
loyalties will be completely divided. Pedro is Portuguese and Tani Brazilian.
Their son Ricardo, 14 months and born in Cayman, can barely walk but he might
have to be referee if a dodgy decision by an official changes the course of the
game. 

The Portuguese and Brazilian
communities in Cayman are close. Tani has recently created a blog on
www.lusobrasil.wordpress.com in Portuguese to provide useful local information 

“We think it will be a very special
match between these countries,” Tani says. “Both of them will strive to win the
game. I hope Brazil wins 3-1. If Portugal wins, I will give my husband not a
yellow card but a big credit card bill!”   

“I think Portugal will win 2-1,”
says Pedro. “If Brazil wins, I will still be happy because Portugal will still
pass to the next round.”

The couple, who live off Walkers
Road, are karate experts so hopefully they will adhere to the principle tenets
and remain in full control even if their team loses because of a dodgy
refereeing decision. They train at the Cayman Associated School of Karate,
under Shihan Greg Reid. Pedro is a black belt and Tani a brown. 

Pedro is from Alverca, a city close
to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital. It is a region known for its bull fighting,
horses and wine. Lisbon has almost three million people, is located in the
western coast of Portugal, and is the city where the caravels sailed from in
1500, to the New World. Pedro is a fan of Sporting Lisbon, which has produced
some great players, including Luis Figo and Ronaldo.

Tani is from Salvador, a city on
the north-east coast of Brazil, with a climate similar to Cayman, and was the
country’s first capital. It has almost four million inhabitants, 31 miles of
beaches and 365 churches, one for each day of the year. It has the biggest
carnival party on the planet, registered in the Guinness Book of World Records,
where during an entire week, almost two million people celebrate throughout 15
miles of streets, avenues and squares.

Pedro and Tani met in Brazil where
he went to do voluntary work for an international student association, in the
Federal University of Bahia. Tani was the marketing vice-president of the
association. Tani later moved to Portugal and they started travelling all over
the world together. They got married in New Zealand and for their honeymoon
they made a trip around the world.

The Reis family met FIFA president
Sepp Blatter and chatted to him about Portugal and Brazil when he visited
Cayman last year to open the Centre of Excellence in Prospect.

“Having a baby definitely gives
more meaning to our life, and we’re teaching Ricardo to enjoy travelling as
well,” says Tani. “We have visited more than 40 countries and lived in
Portugal, Brazil and New Zealand, before moving to Cayman. Pedro has also lived
in Finland and South Africa. We love the Cayman Islands for its beauty, safety,
climate and people and have decided to stay here for some time and start our
family.”

Hopefully, after Friday’s game,
they will be samba dancing and not swapping karate kicks!