SAO PAULO (AP) — English fans devastated by their team's World Cup elimination still had a nice chance to see the sights.
A sign outside the Sao Paulo Museum of Art read: "ENGLISH, DON'T BE SAD. THIS WEEK YOU GET FREE ADMISSION TO MASP."
Two men working the ticket gate, or bilheteria, reported only a couple of takers by early Saturday evening but expected many more English visitors once word got out.
Bring those passports to save 15 reais.
— By Janie McCauley — www.twitter.com/JanieMcCAP
NATAL, Brazil (AP) — The girls squealed for Mario Balotelli. The locals chanted for their hometown team.
Italy got a warm welcome in the coastal city of Natal, where it will play Uruguay on Tuesday in the final match for both teams in Group D.
Several thousand fans — locals and traveling Italians — greeted the squad during its public training at the stadium of the local club team ABC FC. Also attending was Italian rock band Negramaro, which is performing in the city Monday.
The Italy players were showered with cheers every time they circled the field in their warm-up jog. At one point, a young boy wearing a Brazil jersey jumped the fence seeking an autograph or a piece of memorabilia from the team and scampered back over before security could catch him.
Italy fans waved flags and banners, some with the name of the hometowns. Fans of the local team also revved up chants of "A-B-C!"
The weather was breezy and pleasant for the Italians after two humid matches in the jungle city of Manaus and Recife.
Italy can advance to the knockout round with a win or a draw. Uruguay must win to move on.
Davide Mariotti, 31, was here with five friends from the town of Ascoli Piceno in Italy. They came just to see the Uruguay match. It's a bachelor party trip for one of Mariotti's friends.
"So we're going home after the match, but not them," he said of the team, adding: "We know they are going to win."
— By Jim Vertuno — www.twitter.com/JimVertuno
TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) — Dozens of youngsters got past security and invaded Brazil's training session Saturday.
It started when a handful of kids jumped the fence separating fans from the pitch at Brazil's camp outside Rio de Janeiro. Security guards were not able to contain them, and others quickly followed, easily getting to the players as they finished practice.
Most of the players began heading to the locker rooms, but some stayed to talk to the fans, many of whom carried jerseys to get autographs and cameras to take photos of their idols.
One girl hugged midfielder Willian and didn't let go until a member of Brazil's delegation arrived to take her back to where the other fans were located.
Brazil will play Cameroon on Monday in Brasilia in its final Group A match. The hosts need at least a draw to advance to the second round.
— By Tales Azzoni — www.twitter.com/tazzoni
NEYMAR TO MASSA
TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa said he got some extra motivation from Brazil striker Neymar before winning the pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday.
"Just before I go to the car my son gave me a little Neymar, a little one, so I bring the little one to the car and I put on the side of my helmet. It was a nice feeling," said Massa, who hadn't started from the pole since 2008, when his son, 4-year-old Felipe, had not been born yet.
The Williams driver said he knows "there is a lot going on in Brazil in this moment" because of the World Cup, and he is paying attention even though he's far away.
"I'm a great fan of football, so I hope we can have a great World Cup," Massa said. "I know what it is to win at home, so I can imagine winning the World Cup at home is like a dream come true, not just for the players but also for everybody which is watching. So I really hope the best for Brazil."
Massa twice won his home race, in 2006 and 2008, when he drove for Ferrari.
— By Tales Azzoni — www.twitter.com/tazzoni
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Selfies, elaborate jokes, photo bombs involving his squad's biggest stars and now exclusive team news. Mexico's Miguel Herrera is not one of those national team coaches afraid of Twitter.
In the past month, the 46-year-old former player has seen the number of people following him on Twitter more than double. On Friday, he revealed in a tweet that he intends to use the same lineup for Monday's crucial final group game against Croatia as he did for the 0-0 draw with Brazil. Surely that will add many more to the 619,000 people currently following @MiguelHerreraDT.
The man who generally goes by the nickname Piojo (louse) has proved a hit on and off the pitch. He's set an example for the relaxed atmosphere at Mexico's base in Santos. Piojo has happily signed countless autographs and posed for pictures — many of them destined for social media — for the fans outside the team hotel.
Short, squat, smiling and capable of saying anything — he labeled Bosnia-Herzegovina players "pigs" after what he saw as unfair substitutions during a World Cup warm-up match earlier this month — Herrera is social media's dream manager. Just don't get him started on Fabio Capello, the Italian coach of the Russia national team, who has banned all his players from using Twitter.
— By Luke Norman
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki had to make sure organizers of his celebrity baseball game in the Dallas area knew where the 7-foot German's priorities were.
The annual charity event with his name on it was set for the first pitch about four hours after the start of Germany's World Cup match against Ghana on Saturday. It certainly tightened the window for Nowitzki's pregame activities.
"I told them I can't come here before 4:30," Nowitzki said the day before his game, drawing laughs from reporters. "I can't leave in the second half of a tight game."
Of course, Germany could always make things easier for the country's most famous basketball player by doing what it did to Portugal in the opener — taking a 3-0 halftime lead. Even then, it'll be hard to pull Nowitzki away from the TV.
"For every German, it's huge," the 2011 NBA Finals MVP said. "We have to watch every game. I had my jersey on for Game 1. I had my scarf. So I'm ready to roll."
— By Schuyler Dixon — www.twitter.com/apschuyler
MARADONA MAKES IT
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Diego Maradona made it into the stands this time.
After claiming he was blocked from watching his country play its World Cup opener, the Argentina great sat in the crowd Saturday at Mineirao Stadium for the match against Iran.
Maradona, who captained Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, has been one of FIFA's fiercest and most regular critics. The sport's governing body said that he simply didn't have the proper credentials last Sunday.
Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Follow AP journalists covering the World Cup on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_Sports/world-cup-2014