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World Cup fans up early to cheer Mexico, Cameroon

The World Cup kicked into high gear Friday and fans in the Bay Area started the day early to watch Mexico beat Cameroon.
Day Two of the World Cup got underway Friday with one of the most popular teams in California taking the pitch.

Some people took a vacation day just to enjoy the day's matches. It was 9 a.m. and the Oakland Raiders were not playing, but there was still a crowd at Ricky's in San Leandro.

"I made it a point to be here today. I took the day off. I worked extra shifts last couple weeks to have this day off, specifically. So, I've been prepared for this for a while," said Pinole resident Luis Vera.

The fans were there to watch the World Cup match between Mexico and Cameroon. The international soccer competition only happens once every four year and fans say that reason alone makes it worth taking a vacation day.

"If Mexico don't make it past the first three games, there's only going to be three games in four years. So, you've got to take advantage of it," San Pablo resident David Quiroz told ABC7 News.

"It's the first game of the World Cup for Mexico. My mom's from there so I've got to cheer the team," Vera said.

Ricky's is one of many bars in the Bay Area that plans to be open for every single World Cup match. The owner, Ricky Ricardo, says he loves to see people representing different countries all come together in his bar to share their love of the game. "It's huge. They really get into it. When they're winning, they're happy. When they're losing, they're crying," he said.

"It's about just being proud about where you are from," Quiroz says.

Football still ranks higher than World Cup in popularity in the United States, but Ricardo says World Cup is gaining momentum. "I think the Raider crowd brings a bigger crowd but the World Cup stands right up there too, more so every year. I see it grow and grow and grow with an influx of people from all over. So, it's huge," he said.

Ricardo is of Portuguese descent and wears a Portugal scarf when the team plays. Portugal is scheduled to play the United States, but when asked which team he would be cheering for, like any good bar owner, Ricardo stayed neutral. "I can't lose," he said.
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