Tournament has thrown spotlight on the player’s mothers whose hard-luck life stories resonate with ordinary Brazilians

Round the corner from a gang member with a pistol in his waistband and an automatic rifle in his hands, the Women’s Bar in Rio’s Complexo do Alemão favela was showing the World Cup on a big TV.

Among the crowd watching the Brazil-Serbia game, women in team shirts outnumbered men, while children bounced on a trampoline or queued to have Brazilian flags painted on their cheeks.

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Read More World Cup spotlights Brazil’s great players – and their single mothers

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