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First Brazilian cosmonaut makes World Cup boast

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Brazil's first cosmonaut has boasted he will take the national shirt aboard the International Space Station to 'commemorate' the country's 'victory' in this year's football World Cup. He'll blast off from Kazakstan on Thursday at 02:30GMT aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Planet-headed airforce pilot Marcos Pontes, 43, puffed: “To commemorate the six times champions of the world that the Brazilian football team will become this year, I'm taking the Brazilian soccer team shirt.”

His cocksure comments were made at a news conference from behind a hermetically sealed glass panel, in place to protect him from the grubby reporter's lurgie.

Pontes will spend two days on the station, before returning with six month inmates American Bill McArthur and Russian Valery Tokarev. ®

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