Brazilian surfer Italo Ferreira was given a hero’s welcome upon his return home days after clinching his first World Surf League (WSL) title.
Hordes of fans greeted the 25-year-old upon his arrival at Natal airport in northeastern Brazil, many chanting his name as their idol posed for photos and signed autographs.
Ferreira continued Brazil’s dominance on the WSL circuit by beating compatriot and defending champion Gabriel Medina in the final of the season-ending Pipeline Masters in Hawaii on Thursday. Brazilians have won four of the past six WSL men’s crowns.
The Pipeline victory meant Ferreira finished more than 3,000 points ahead of second-placed Medina in the overall standings, with South Africa’s Jordy Smith taking third place.
After leaving Natal’s airport on Monday afternoon, Ferreira made the 20-minute road trip to his home town of Baia Formosa, where fans lined the streets to welcome him and chant his name.