KNOXVILLE (WATE)- The 2014 World Cup started on Thursday afternoon and while soccer in the United States doesn't constitute a national holiday like it does in Brazil, some local Brazilians did their best to bring Sao Paulo to Tennessee.
"We are trying to bring all of our American friends to cheer for Brazil and feel like we are in Brazil to celebrate this," said Alessandra Leite.
Leite and her husband Richard Ford are both Brazilian and hosted a World Cup watch party on Thursday to cheer on the Brazil national team in the first game of the Cup.
Dozens of their friends showed up in yellow, blue and green with Brazilian jerseys, bracelets, hats and soccer balls to show their support. It's a level of fandom that Americans usually reserve for the NFL or March Madness. But for soccer fans, this only happens once every four years.
"Football is like a religion, said Leite. "We all have our teams that we support and I don't know if it's big like the Super Bowl but I think it's bigger. And, we are all cheering for Brazil no matter what."