Brazil’s presidential election is two months away but the candidates have already begun the race.
The first nationally televised debate has taken place but the event turned out to be slightly uneventful with millions choosing to watch Brazil’s football team play instead.
The contest pits ruling party candidate Dilma Rousseff against former Sao Paulo state governor Jose Serra.
She has opened up her biggest lead yet in the polls and emerged largely unscathed from the debate.
In recent weeks, Rousseff has benefited from Brazil’s robust economy and the enormous popularity of President Lula, who has campaigned on her behalf.
The two front-runners are both from mainstream parties and there is little to choose between them on the main issues. But Serra has been critical of Lula’s close ties to Iran and his left-wing alliances in Latin America.