Rio: mural and Maracana

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On a wall at the end of the Copacabana, the other end from the Fanfest on the beach, a street artist created a tribute artwork stretching a good 40 metres.

The David Luiz free-kick probably epitomised Brazil’s best moment. Even aside from anything Neymar did, this goal was celebrated like nothing else – probably as the hosts realised that maybe they could win the World Cup.

**Click on the pics to enlarge

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Flamengo 1 Atletico Paranaense 2

Well I think I’ve seen just about everything at a football game now – a woman breastfeeding her child on the terrace. Maybe over here, kids are born at the match.

Rio, weaning itself off the World Cup, was suffering from football-glut – and not hosting games immediately after the Germany-Argentina final. Presumably the police needed a rest.

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11 cracking Germany games

20140712-153752-56272785.jpgGermany matches are always a thrill.

Back in the day if they lost and you were there you were guaranteed an unforgettable experience and a warming dose of schadenfreude that flooded organs you didn’t know you possessed.

Since seeing them three times at the 2006 World Cup, even their wins have become something to relish as my weltanschauung has widened and I learned that the childhood Victor comic German was an embarrassing cliche..

Here’s the cracking 11 Germany games I’ve been to, each memorable in its own way.

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Uncle Samba bows out – Belgium 2 United States 1

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Belgium versus the US. I almost didn’t fancy it. You don’t expect thrills.

You buy the ticket, do the calculation and think the match has Belgium v Portugal written all over it. Should be good.

There was nothing in the build-up to suggest we were about to see the best contest so far.

Continue reading Uncle Samba bows out – Belgium 2 United States 1

Fortaleza fan fest fun: a critical evaluation

20140625-104307-38587808.jpgFan fests – what are they like?

Kharkiv two years ago in Ukraine was dominated by the Dutch, who brought their oompah songs, orange boiler suits and their shtrange anticsh that would probably be banned in any other country.

It was much more fun than the game that followed.

Continue reading Fortaleza fan fest fun: a critical evaluation