Torreon, Mexico is a city of more than 600,000 people. In recent years, it hasn't been a particularly happy one - drug violence has hit it fairly hard, and things haven't been getting much better of late either. But hey, look on the bright side! They get to see the Brazil team! Neymar's hair is the cure for what ails you, even bullets. Or so say the folks that Eben Lehman of SB Nation's Mexican futbol blog FMF State of Mind spoke to, anyway:
"I don't have words to describe what it is to see the Brazil national team in my own little town," Torreon resident Fernando Cisneros told me.
On Sunday evening, Cisneros accompanied thousands of other local residents to a training session for both teams. It may have just been a training session, but Cisneros could clearly see Torreon's excitement level beginning to peak. "Today for the first time the city felt like something big is about to happen. Today it felt like there was something special in the air."
In all seriousness, it's wonderful to see football used as a force for what's essentially good. The sport is often met with cynicism these days (and international friendlies doubly so), but it's important to remember that it can still make a difference in people's lives as well.