Portugal lifted by local support at first training

By Shrikesh Laxmidas

MAGALIESBURG, South Africa (Reuters) - Portugal's first World Cup training session in South Africa was watched by around 2,000 fans Sunday, an indication of the team's popularity among the local immigrant community.

The Portuguese squad landed in the morning and was met by thousands of supporters lining the streets of Magaliesburg, a small town some 70 kilometers from Johannesburg near which the team will stay and train.

Around 1,600 tickets were distributed for the hour-long training session at Bekker High School with at least another 400 people trying to watch from the areas behind the ground fencing.

"Ro-nal-do," was the loudest chant heard between the sounds of the vuvuzela horns as the players approached the school's single stand.

There are an estimated 500,000 descendants of Portuguese immigrants in South Africa. Portugal's final warm-up friendly against Mozambique Tuesday is sold out with organizers saying all 28,000 tickets were bought within 12 hours.

(Editing by Jon Bramley)