54. They think it’s all over…

The adventure is (kind of) over; the signs have been ripped down by fans eager for souvenirs; the fake Brazil shirts are on sale ridiculously cheap in the streets of Salvador; and the 2014 World Cup is, officially, done.

As seems to happen so often, it was a game of twenty-two men, ninety minutes (and thirty more this time), and then Germany won.

20140712-0003

If this guy wasn’t actually German, it would have made it all the more amazing…

And Argentina lost.

And Messi didn’t Continue reading

48. The Semi-Finals Await…

It’s time for another two-day break, and a chance to catch your breath before the semi-finals.
.
After Friday saw the first semi-final decided, with hosts Brazil taking on the ever-consistent Germans, yesterday was the turn of Argentina and Holland to set up the other mouth-watering Euro-American last four.
20140612-0043 copy

A meeting of minds…

It was a day of mixed feelings for me, as I was heading to possibly my last game of the tournament, and definitely the final one here in Salvador.

Continue reading

47. Quarter Finals Reviews and Previews…

So Brazil are one step from actually getting to the final, which is either totally predictable or a complete miracle given how they have played most of the tournament.

This time they deserved the win, brushing aside a desperately disappointing Colombia who never really got going, and (with a little help from the referee, for a change), won their quarter final 2-1 and sparked the biggest party yet in the Salvador Fanfest, where thousands of people spent the entire night either dancing the night away, or staring at me attempting to do the same.

20140704-0031

Fanfest festivities…

Standing in their way will be Continue reading

38. World Cup Day 14: insert your own ‘bite’ pun here…

Just when the games were threatening to get a little boring…

The last game of the day provided enough excitement for an entire week of blogging. Former World Champions Italy sent home? Check. Red card given to one team and not another? Check. Booming headed goal by booming headed goal maestro, Diego Godín? Check.

Oh, and then Luís Suarez bit another player.

Again.

For the third time.

imgres

‘Gnasher’ Suarez…

And then rolled around on the floor, with the audacity to hold his teeth, pretending to have been elbowed or something.

Check.

Either he bit him or, Continue reading

35: World Cup Day 11: Messi, Messi, Messi…

It is Sunday morning, and it sounds like there is a hurricane blowing outside my window.

After staying out until 5am to celebrate the national holiday of São João in the least traditional way possible,  (joining some local friends at a live rock venue, instead of gyrating the night away to a farró band), this is not ideal.

20140621-0002

A morning view of stormy Salvador…

At least it allows me to lie in the warmth of my bed and report on yesterday’s footballing adventures.

The festival of Saint John, (whose saint’s day is Continue reading

30. World Cup Live Match Review pt.II: Germany vs Portugal…

I have spent the past six months living in Portugal, having an amazing time in Lisbon with some great people and one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world.

That is going to make this blog entry difficult to read for some of my friends back there, and for the thousands of readers I have who have found me through their (and my) love of the most supported club in the world, Benfica.

20140616-0041

I meet a Lisbon native but 48-year veteran of Brazil…still proudly rocking the SLB!

But I really enjoyed this game.

I may have been one of the most confusing people at Continue reading

24. World Cup News: Kick-Off Day!!…

It’s finally here.

I’m finally here, in an apartment on the beachfront.

The sun is still here, although it’s having a little disagreement with its main sponsor, showers, this week.

Some Dutch and Spanish tourists are here in Salvador, although not as many as you would have thought.

Fatboy Slim is probably here somewhere, getting ready for his World Cup-opening show here in Salvador later this afternoon/evening, giving me a dilemma about where to watch the opening match, since the FanFest is literally next to the place I’m staying, and where most of the friends I have made this past two weeks has been.

So, here’s the last news update before we can officially say: The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has started!…

20140602-0004

Security seems to be all in place and highly organised. As long as Continue reading