63. My year of football blogging, 2014…

I have been writing my book blog for just over three years, and in all that time I was proud to have had 16,039 people drop by to read it.

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In the eight months since I launched this football blog, it has received over 27,000 views since it began on Friday May 27th, with a frankly ridiculous 7,149 people dropping by on one day alone.

This was blog entry number six, my first on Lisbon, and proved the power of my newest team: Benfica, with its 250,000+ fans around the world, the most supported club in the world, and most of them (you!) seem to have stopped by my blog, for which I thank you.

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My readers came from 110 countries!! This is a truly ridiculous number, around twice the number I  have visited, and shows the fact that whilst there were only 32 countries in the World Cup, football is a worldwide sport, (and again highlights Benfica’s global reach, as I explain to both the tourists on my Lisbon walking tours, and in a blog about them here).

Understandably, more of my readers came from my current home country, Portugal, closely followed by the USA and UK…so there is absolutely no correlation between my readers’ locations and national footballing prowess.

(My apologies to US readers, whose team actually did quite well!)

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Oh, and I also funded (and am in the process of writing) A BOOK! Which you are all welcome to read!

Feel free to check out my Wordpress annual report here, and drop me a comment letting me know what you are looking forward to reading about in the coming year.

HAPPY 2015!!

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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

41. World Cup Day Who Even Knows Anymore…

Finally, a final round of games which produced some excitement!

The late kick-offs were mildly tense, although sadly I was stuck watching the wrong match, The Red Devils of Belgium yet again proving to be horribly tedious, yet winning by a single goal, this time down to ten men against a South Korea side who proved to be even more dismal. Belgium next take on the USA, and will have to show a lot more devilry if they are to go any further in the tournament.

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The boys will have been wearing these jacket-jerseys with pride tonight…

That meant I was missing the Russia vs Algeria game, which saw Continue reading

36. World Cup Day 12: a dozen down…

The storm I woke up to this morning continued all day and into the evening, keeping people off the streets and realising how little there is to do in Salvador when the weather sucks.

I therefore got to know my apartment very well today, finally making a list of which Panini stickers I need to complete my collection, (166 to go, in case you were wondering), and watching today’s three matches on the small screen.

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Panini 2014: 473 down, 166 to go…

The 1pm game may have been the worst of the tournament so far, as ‘dark horsesBelgium, (should that be ‘red horses’?), put paid to the theory I made up tha 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.

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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

34. World Cup Live Match Report pt.III: France vs Switzerland…

Seventeen goals.

That is how many have been scored in Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova stadium in the first three games of the 2014 World Cup, three of the best games I have seen in three decades of football-watching.

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Germany 5 (and a half), Switzerland 2…

After three games in Cape Town in 2010, I had seen two goals, and three of the worst games I had ever seen.

I hereby declare this World Cup the best ever. More or less.

The day began with 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.

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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