FIFA fever finds its way to Milwaukee

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jul 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-02 18:14:47-04

MILWAUKEE --  FIFA fever is taking over Milwaukee —and more specifically Walker’s Point. Fans flocked to Nomad Nacional Monday morning to watch what was considered one the most exciting matches of this year’s World Cup.

“It’s obviously something that’s really special," Mexico fan Ricardo Contreras said.

Contreras calls Milwaukee home, but he was born and raised in Mexico —and although his team didn’t score once as he watched the game —it was clear where his allegiance lied.

“Vamos Mexico," Contreras said.

But beyond the excitement of World Cup fever, former Milwaukee Wave soccer player, Hewerton Moreira, said this record turnout at Nomad Nacional is also about cultural representation.

“For me to be watching the game here is kind of like I’m watching at home too," Moreira said.

Or as Brazilian fan Leia Oliveria puts it —a sporting event unifying Metro Milwaukee’s Latino population —a community that a UWM study finds has more than tripled since 1990.

"In our country, we would never able to be with two teams playing against each other in the same place," Oliveira said. "And I think the greatest thing about here is respect."

And that respect was highlighted as the day party kept going even after Mexico’s heartbreaking 2-0 loss.

Brazil now advances to the World Cup quarterfinals where they will play again Friday.