Brazilian women celebrate World Cup bonanza of men
Renata de Mouro Moitinho sambas so fast her feet blur, but her partner moves with the bumbling tentativeness of a toddler taking his first steps.
And in a way the strapping man in a tight spandex soccer jersey really is taking his first steps — his first samba steps, that is: Moitinho’s dance partner for the evening is an Italian, visiting Brazil for the World Cup, and she is giving him his very first lesson in the nation’s frenetically paced national dance.
The two met at the Fan Fest in Rio de Janeiro, where 22-year-old Moitinho and a group of friends have been going throughout the monthlong tournament in order to, as she puts it, “hunt foreigners” like the Italian, who declined to give his name.
Moitinho’s not alone.
The past three weeks’ flood of foreign soccer fans — the vast majority of them men — has been a boon for the single women of Brazil, where a demographic imbalance means they outnumber men by more than 4 million nationally. The imbalance, the result of higher mortality rates among young men, is particularly acute in Rio de Janeiro, where there are just over nine men for every 10 women, according to the 2010 census. That’s about the same as New York City, another metropolis known for its lack of eligible single men.
"There are so many men everywhere these days, it’s amazing," Moitinho said, gesturing out over the sea of masculine faces at the Fan Fest. "The World Cup is God’s gift to women.