Soccer-Lallana 'humbled' by visit to Rio favela


RIO DE JANEIRO, June 10 (Reuters) - England midfielder Adam Lallana said he was left humbled after he and several team mates set aside their World Cup preparations to visit a Rio de Janeiro favela.

The Southampton player joined Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and reserve keeper Fraser Forster on a trip to Rocinha, the largest favela in Brazil, which is located close to England's base for the tournament.

"This is reality - it's where 70,000 people live in favelas," Lallana told the FA's website (

"When I got told about it I didn't quite believe it but now I'm here you realise how it's possible. It's quite a surreal experience.

"It's really humbling coming to an area like this but it's also great to be able to make some kids' days."

Local children treated Lallana and his team mates to a display of the Brazilian martial art capoeira during the visit on Monday evening.

"The dance routines they put on for us proves they've got some talent and it's great to be able to give something back," Lallana said.

"I wasn't tempted to take part though - I'm not very confident when it comes to dancing. But obviously Sturridge and Welbs were, so I left it to them."

The event was held at the Complexo Esportivo da Rocinha, a sports centre that is credited with helping the regeneration of the favela, which has a history of crime and violence.

The FA also revealed it had donated a five-figure sum to the sports complex.

Lallana, 26, is in the running for a starting place when England take on Italy in their first World Cup Group D game on Saturday, though he is under pressure from Liverpool's Raheem Sterling.

"It would mean the world to me to start against Italy but the main thing is we get the points," Lallana, who has six England caps, said.

"Whether that's me contributing off the bench or from the start, the result is all that matters.

"I've got a few days' training left to impress the manager but it's healthy that there's competition for places. That's all we can ask for. It's a good feeling because we all want the same outcome and that's to win."

(Writing by Stephen Wood; editing by Justin Palmer)

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