Christ the Redeemer ‘floats’ to other side of world

MELBOURNE, Australia (NBC/RTV/SPORTSBET) — It looked like Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue had floated to the other side of the world … almost.

People in Melbourne, Australia, woke up Tuesday to see a hot-air balloon version of the iconic statue hovering over the skyline.

Its message: #keepthefaith, urging fans of Australia’s Socceroos to stay positive during the 2014 World Cup.

Local media said religious groups weren’t pleased with the stunt.

Australian betting company Sportsbet provided video of the balloon floating over Melbourne.

It also released a statement saying, “Let’s be honest, the Socceroos need some divine intervention to win a single match at the World Cup” and urging Australian fans to keep believing in their team.

Australia plays against Chile during a World Cup match Friday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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