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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Bringing Brazilian rhythm to Qatar’s galleries

Presenter Daniel Cardoso Fontes was a big hit with the fans at the Al Gharafa Centre Court.
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Daniel Cardoso Fontes IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The hundreds of volleyball fans who watched Qatar beat Chile in straight sets in the quarterfinal of the ANOC World Beach Games had the time of their lives on Monday.

At the Al Gharafa Centre Court, they cheered, clapped, swayed and set off Mexican waves.

Directing them like a conductor would a complex orchestra was Brazilian presenter Daniel Cardoso Fontes, who proved to be the evening’s undisputed cheerleader. Microphone in hand, he whipped the crowd up into a frenzy, waving his hands and swaying to the music.

Soon after the game, Qatar’s star player Cherif Younousse ran from the court to give the Brazilian a huge bear hug, sand and all. The 24-year-old felt Fontes had played an important role in their win on the night.

“He was almost like our fifth man on the court. He brilliantly managed the crowd and that pumped us up. Whenever the cheers went down, he magically transformed the mood. Indirectly, he too played a big part in our win,” the player told Inside Qatar.

To be fair to Fontes, he had played to both sides of the gallery, giving equal importance to each nation’s fans. However, the home supporters, thanks to their sheer number, had drowned out the chants of Chile’s fans.

Daniel Cardoso Fontes Action
Qatari fans enjoy the action at the Al Gharafa Centre Court. Photo: Yousef Shahin/Qatar Olympic Committee

Fontes said he enjoyed putting on a show for the crowd.

“These are the World Beach Games and it’s all about having fun. Spectators, irrespective of where they’re from, are here for a show and I can give it to them. The energy I give out returns to me double and triple in intensity,” he said.

Fontes, who has been a presenter since 2009, has worked in many countries including Brazil, USA, Portugal and Spain. Like all successful showmen, he has a unique mental routine he goes through before each assignment.

“Before the start of each game, I sit in silence for five minutes. During that time, I gather enough energy for the next two hours of the show. In my mind, I’ve already formed the outline of my act. I’ve got a talent to get the crowd on their feet and I enjoy it immensely,” he told Inside Qatar.

So how did he begin his journey?

“I began my career on stage as an actor and singer in musicals. Once, while attending a beach soccer tournament in Sao Paulo, I found the presenter doing a terrible job. I felt I could do better. A friend got me the mike and that launched my career. I’ve never looked back,” he said while getting into a car that would take him to the Katara Cultural village, for the evening’s beach soccer games.