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.