50. World Cup Semi-Final Preview: Brazil vs Germany…

So it’s come to this.

After all of the (c)upsets, near-knockouts and fun and games, there are four teams left, two from Europe, two from South America, three former World Cup winners who are in the top five ranked teams in the world, and one almost-team hoping to be the second successive first-time winner.

Brazil face Germany today, and Argentina take on Holland tomorrow to decide whether or not there is any chance whatsoever of me getting a ticket to Sunday’s final.

These Mexicans haven't forgotten how Holland got to the final...

These Mexicans haven’t forgotten how Holland got to the final…

(If Brazil make it, I give myself a 0.01% chance: if they don’t, but Argentina do, it won’t be much better, except that maybe the suicidal Brazilians would rather sell/give their ticket to me than to Continue reading

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33. World Cup Day 8: England’s inevitable capitulation…

The first day of the second week of the World Cup began in incredible style for me when I received a message from a journalist back in Portugal who, I had forgotten, had interviewed me by email and then written a massive and flattering article for maisfutebol, one of the biggest websites in Portugal, about my love of Benfica and my passion for following World Cups across the globe.

Anyone who wants to practice their Portuguese, or enjoy a couple of pictures of me, can see the full article here.

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Spreading Benfica around the world since 2013…even to the enemy!

To jump forward to the end of the day: after Continue reading

32. World Cup Day 7: hasta la vista, campeones…

Well, that all happened rather suddenly.

Spain, World and European champions and many people’s bet to win the whole shebang, will be on the next flight back to Madrid, and they still have to go through the motions of a match against Australia, (also out of the cup), in a match as meaningless as most people thought but for reasons not many people can have expected.

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Won’t be needing this shirt again this World Cup…

Spain almost went 1-0 down to Chile in the first minute in a must-win game, and Continue reading

29. World Cup Day 3: a four match kind of day…

Colombia 3 Greece 0

Uruguay 1 Costa Rica 3

England 1 Italy 2

Ivory Coast 2 Japan 1

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The view from my morning jog…

 These were the results on Day3, and in case you weren’t counting, that’s 13 goals in 4 games, a ridiculous tally considering at the past few World Cups it felt like every other game in the group stages ended either 0-0 or 1-0.

I thought teams would be too scared to lose games to make the early rounds exciting: either due to the heat, bad defending or managers saying Continue reading

27. World Cup Kits…

I have several addictions, from collecting books to Panini stickers to languages to countries visited, but one of my favourites is my collection of sports jerseys, 80% of them being of the footballing variety.

At the last World Cup in South Africa I carefully coordinated my day’s wardrobe to coincide with any teams that were playing, so I could support them in style.

The day Cameroon, Denmark, Japan and Italy all played, I was weighed down by four jerseys, (my FC København shirt, my fake Shunsuke Nakamura Japan jersey, my Indomitable Lions Cameroon strip, and my Fiorentina camiseta), which were peeled away one by one as the matches came and went.

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(Can you spot the subtle Japanese ‘peace’ symbol?)

I have one for every team I’ve ever Continue reading

15. World Cup News, Saturday 7th June…

I think i may start writing regular news updates, for all the fun facts and details I want to share with you, starting today with some sad news:

-I was just sent a message by a (new) Brazilian friend to tell me that former Brazilian, Internacional and Olympique de Marseille striker Fernandão has died in a helicopter accident in central Brazil.

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Brazil striker Fernandão, RIP

I was lucky enough to see Fernando Lúcio da Costa play when Continue reading

11. Insider info, mate…

Sometimes it is nice to know people’s whose fathers and fathers-in-law are coaches for international teams.

I woke up this morning to two Facebook messages from old friends in Japan to tell me that there is going to be a pre-games friendly between Australia and Croatia, right here in Salvador, although NOT in the World Cup stadium, the snappily named Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova. (Named after a local beer, I found out today, not some gorgeous native word)

Salvador's new World Cup stadium

Salvador’s new World Cup stadium

Tickets are Continue reading