Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) answers questions at a joint interview in Beijing, capital of China, March 19, 2013. Xi on Tuesday gave a joint interview to China's Xinhua News Agency as well as ITAR-TASS news agency of Russia, ESAT TV of South Africa, the Press Trust of India and the Valor Economico newspaper of Brazil from the other four BRICS countries ahead of his first state visit abroad. [Photo: Xinhua/Lan Hongguang]
Newly elected Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday wished the Brazilian national football team good luck for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, which is due to take place on home soil.
Xi sent his wishes when answering a reporter of the Sao Paulo-based Valor Economico newspaper during a joint interview in Beijing with media outlets from BRICS member countries.
He also jokingly asked whether there would be a successor to the late Paul the Octopus, an octopus that lived in a sea life centre in Oberhausen, Germany, which came to the world's attention after accurately predicting a string of results during the 2010 World Cup.
Xi is to attend a BRICS summit later this month in South Africa, the third leg of his four-nation visit that also includes Russia, Tanzania and the Republic of Congo. The trip is Xi's first overseas tour since being elected as China's top state leader.
Xi, a sports enthusiast, enjoyed playing football and volleyball when younger. At present, Xi actively takes part in swimming and mountaineering activities.
Xi said that it is the unpredictable nature of sport that attracts him.