South Africa U23 soccer team coach Owen da Gama is hoping to make |history like his legendary ancestor Vasco da Gama and plot a route to victory over Brazil.
His team face the hosts on Thursday in the |opener of the Olympics football tournament in Brasilia (kickoff 9pm).
One of Brazil’s most famous football clubs, like the Vasco of Cape Town, is named after the celebrated sailor.
And locals in Brazil are already in awe of the South African coach.
Da Gama told them that his great ancestors had spread his seed across Africa, and thus started the chain that led to Owen being where he is now, a proud South African who hasn’t forgotten his Portuguese roots.
“We have got a diary at home, with Vasco Da Gama’s signature.
“When he discovered the sea route, one of his sons stayed behind in Mozambique and that is where we came from.
“He got married to a Tsonga woman and that is where my Tsonga blood is from.
“I am a 14th-generation descendant of Vasco da Gama,” he added proudly.
He will call on pride from his men who will face 50000 home fans and the likes of Barcelona superstar Neymar.