55. The Aftermath…

So it’s been over a week since the World Cup ended.

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Bye bye Fureco…

The streets of Salvador are back to normal, (mostly empty, rain-covered, and half-finished), although Continue reading

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51. Brazil on their way home…

In a World Cup full of unbelievable matches, (Holland vs Spain, Costa Rica vs Italy, Germany vs Portugal), yesterday’s 7-1 thrashing/spanking/sausaging/humiliation of Brazil by Germany has to rank as the most stunning of all.

This was both the best I have ever seen a team play in a World Cup, and the worst, and possibly in any football match.

To call Brazil’s play ‘Sunday League‘ is an insult to hard-working Sunday League teams across the world.

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My allegiances were torn…

Germany were so (I hate to use the stereotype, but it’s true) ruthless that Continue reading

49. World Cup Live Match Report, pt.VI: Holland vs Costa Rica…

A sad day for me: my final live match here in my home for the past five weeks, Salvador de Bahía.
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It wasn’t the blockbuster match-up I had hoped for, (Brazil could have been here had they finished second in their group), and I was hoping to see one of the most fun teams in the tournament, Mexico, but had to settle for Holland vs the surprise of the cup, Costa Rica, who not only survived one of the Groups of Death, they were the killers, knocking out both England and Italy.
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I forgave the plucky Ticos for knocking out England…and rocked my new Peru jersey!

I joined up with my Spanish buddies, Andreas and José, and we caused trouble all the way to the stadium: meeting fans from around the world, (from Spurs fans loving my Lilywhites jersey, to hundreds of ‘Ticos‘ which I think we all learned is the slang for a Costa Rican), enjoying a few drinks (and the match-day cups that we would be collecting for possibly the last time), and generally enjoying the bubbling atmosphere.

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.
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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.
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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

45. World Cup Live Match Report V: USA vs Belgium…

A gorgeous, sunny day; an old friend visiting from NYC who happened to show up for a USA match; another old friend racing back to see her country play; and yet another old friend back from his travels, all to be reunited in the gorgeous, gleaming Salvador stadium.

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Back where I belong…

Another friend didn’t have a ticket, but details like this didn’t seem to matter on this magical day: walking to the stadium three hours early to soak up the atmosphere, (and the Continue reading

44. World Cup Days 19&20: Not for Dutch fans…

Arjen Robben is a diving, cheating scumbag.

I have been away from a computer for 48-hours, since a visiting friend somehow managed to convince me that it would be a good idea to spend two days doing little to nothing on an idyllic island a few hours drive from Salvador. I have therefore had that sentence itching inside me since I saw Robben dive the Dutch to the quarter-finals, much as they did in the last World Cup all the way to the final.

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My hellish accommodation for the past few days…

Whilst we were away I got to watch four of Continue reading

42. World Cup Day 17: Ding Ding, Round 2…

After yesterday’s relaxing day off, we are back and ready to go with the meat of the competition: the knock-out phase.

The last sixteen as us boring English speakers call it; the ‘oitavos’ to the locals.

Today’s pair of matches is a strangely South American affair: due to an irony of the draw, (or a complete cock-up, depending on your view of FIFA), there are four South American teams all battling it out for a single semi-final spot.

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Two of those teams will take the Continue reading