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

12. Brazilian dangers…

On Saturday I ventured out of my hostel for the first time properly, to meet people and see some of this former capital, the third largest city in Brasil, Salvador de Bahia. I was invited to explore the ‘Centro Histórico’ by a wonderful Couch Surfer with spare time and a passion for sharing her town and her time with foreigners.

We ended up at a weekly jazz event housed in the Museum of Modern Art complex, where I met some other CS’ers, and we shared stories of the World Cup.

Your intrepid correspondent attacked by a letter 'D'...

Your intrepid correspondent attacked by a letter ‘D’…

I have always had a blindly optimistic view of Continue reading

7. Salvador de Bahía…

I woke up this morning and found myself in Brasil.

This was a good thing. After all, I had taken a flight to Salvador de Bahía, and was planning on spending two months here, but it was still nice to wake up and be in the largest country in South America.

My first 24 hours here have been…quiet. I was lucky enough to be picked up at the airport by a friend of a tourist I showed around Lisbon a month ago, who had never met me and had no reason to do me a favour except that people are lovely sometimes.

Gorgeous, coastal Salvador de Bahia

Gorgeous, coastal Salvador de Bahia

Luckily, my youth hostel exists, and is Continue reading

4. News from FIFA…

I had planned to write today about my attempts to get into Saturday’s Champions League final here in Lisbon, but two things distracted me from that: an email I received from FIFA, and the fact that I am essentially a 10 year old boy in a 36 year old’s body.

Firstly, I checked my inbox after lunch to find a message from the ‘FIFA Ticketing Centre.’

Once the excitement of wondering if they’d finally decided to let me buy the tickets I had spent two years trying to obtain wore off, (answer: no), two things caught my eye.

My ticket haul at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa...somehow...

My ticket haul at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa…somehow…

Firstly was the ‘Hungry? Thirsty?’ section of the email, which helpfully informed me that there would be food and drink at the stadium. Who’d have known? Continue reading

1. Benfica to Brazil: a summer of football…

With 22 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes and 3 seconds left until the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil begins, it seemed like a good time to launch my new blog charting an incredible year of football following, from my arrival in Lisbon, Portugal in late December, through to my (almost certainly unsuccessful) attempts to be at the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13th.

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I leave Lisbon in 9 days, arriving in Salvador, eastern Brazil, with a suitcase full of Panini stickers, books on football, my laptop, two tickets for a World Cup match in Rio, (which I won’t be going to), and a youth hostel which may or may not exist, but which is throwing me out the day before the matches begin anyway.

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This is going to be fun…