Without a doubt, the world cup 2014 has been a huge success in Brazil. Entertaining games, plenty of goals and some upsets along the way.
The fact the home nation of Brazil have been doing very well has helped the tournament hugely and the host nation will be hoping to make it the final, which will be played in the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro on the 13th July 2014.
The South American continent as a whole can be proud of the display their teams have given on the biggest stage of all. Colombia, Argentina and Chile in particular have lit up the event, with James Rodriguez of Colombia being the star man so far. Central American representatives Costa Rica have performed well above expectations, reaching the quarterfinal and narrowly losing to the Dutch on penalties. Along with the Netherlands, Germany are the other European nation left in the tournament but will have to play the Brazilian team and the crowd in their semi-final.
The passion the Brazilian people have for football is phenomenal, when the national anthem (Hino Nacional Brasileiro in Portuguese) is playing inside the stadium; the players embrace and sing it with more pride than any other country in world football. The players, along with the crowd, continue to sing even after the music has finished, leading to tears for both players and fans. The solidarity inside the grounds has, in the main, remained the same in the streets surrounding them. The fears of protests now outdated, the whole country has been gripped by world cup fever. When visiting Brazil to watch the drama unfold on the pitch, you can be sure of an entertaining time off it, with a fantastic carnival atmosphere around the host cities.
Brazilian’s are proud of their football history and will not be shy in talking to you about it. Having won the world cup an impressive 5 times, they really do have something to shout about. With the likes of Pele, Garrincha, Carlos Alberto, Socrates, Zico and Ronaldo all legends of Brazilian football past, it falls on the young shoulders of current superstar, Neymar, to guide the little canary (Canarinho) to victory.
Brazilian footballers are renowned for their skill and trickery and this is put down the fact that many of its great players grew up playing football on the streets of Brazil. Using whatever they could get their hands on as a ball and goal posts, playing this way helped to improve their touch, control, and ultimately led them to becoming great players in the future. When walking around the streets during your visit to Brazil, keep a look out for kids playing football and you might just spot the next Pele!
When visiting Brazil for the world cup, you are spoilt for choice with a number of cities hosting matches and staging fan parks. Your best option is to use the internet and search for flight and hotel packages on websites such as Expedia, TravelRepublic or Opodo. Alternatively, you could contact STAtravel, these guys can help you sort out flights and cheap accommodation if required. In addition to this, you could always try renting an apartment, websites such as HolidayLettings and Airbnb offer holiday apartments, usually at cheaper rates then hotels. During the tournament, many of the cities will have extra camping facilities available, so if you are willing to take the risk, you could simply hop on a flight and find somewhere to sleep upon arrival. By doing this, you are not limiting yourself to staying in one place and you could take advantage of internal flights and visit more than one area of the country. Domestic flight companies such as TAM and Varig offer extensive flight options across Brazil.
The most popular and well known city for tourists in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro, with it’s Copacabana beach and lively night life. With sights such as Christ the Redemeer and Sugarloaf Mountain, it is easy to see why this city is usually number one on every tourists list and you could add on a trip to the mighty Iguazu Falls. Salvador is another city that boasts fine beaches, with Sao Paulo and the capital Brasilia both offering a thriving art and restaurant scene. However, other cities and locations should not be ignored. Brazil is a huge and diverse country with so much to offer. Manaus, another host city, lies within the Amazon region (Amazonas) and is a perfect base for those wanting to see more of the majestic river and the rainforest surrounding it.
There are three options available for world cup match tickets. The official source is the FIFA website, where tickets to some matches are still available. Other than this, Viagogo have tickets available direct from people who cannot attend the matches themselves and of course, people will no doubt be selling tickets on the day of the game. The third option should be avoided due to the high number of fake tickets in circulation. If you don’t have tickets for games, it is still well worth visiting Brazil during the world cup as many of the venues have fan parks set up, with big screens showing matches live and bars and restaurants offering refreshments.
The fan parks are a great place to meet the locals and when visiting a country, the natives like nothing more than people who try to learn and speak a bit of the language. If you can do this, you will endear yourself to the people, feel part of the atmosphere and make new friends. Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and is widely spoken throughout the country. If you speak Spanish, you might be able to get by in some situations but without a knowledge of Portuguese, you will not understand what people are saying to you. German and Italian are also spoken in little pockets around the country but if you want to make the most out of your time in Brazil then it is wise to learn some general sentences in the official language of Portuguese. Try to be prepared, not only for a good time but also in the case of emergency, some useful words and phrases include:
yes – sim
no – nao
please, thank you – por favor
Thank you – obrigado (males) or obrigada (females)
good morning – bom dia
good afternoon – boa tarde
good evening – boa noite
goodbye – ate logo or tchau
how are you? – como vai? or tudo bem?
good – tudo bem
speak more slowly – fale mais devagar
i dont speak Portuguese – eu nao falo portugues
do you speak English – vocefala ingles?
excuse me – com licenga
pardon me – desculpe
sorry – perdao
the bill please – a conta por favor
how much – quanto custa
where – onde
where is … located – onde fica …?
left, right – esquerda, direita
when – quando
how – como
who – quem
what – que
why – porque
I want to buy – eu quero comprar
cheap – barato
yesterday – ontem
today – hoje
tomorrow – amanha
what time is it? – que horas sao?
ok – esta bem or ta bem
Where’s the toilet? – Onde é o banheiro?
Leave me alone! – Me deixe em paz!
Call the police! – Chame a polícia!
I’m lost – Estou perdido
Please, can you help me? – Por favor, você pode me ajudar?
I need to go to… – Eu preciso ir a ….
How do I get…. ? – Como eu chego em…..?
My name is… – Meu nome é….
Help! – Socorro!
Call a doctor! – Chame um medico!
Call an ambulance! – Chame uma ambulância!
Call the police! – Chame a policia!
The nearest hospital? – Onde é o hospital mais próximo?
Do you have any vacant rooms? – Tem um quarto livre?
I have a reservation – Tenho um quarto reservado
Could you please call me a taxi cab? – Você poderia me chamar um táxi, por favor?
I feel sick, I need a doctor – Me sinto doente, preciso de um medico!
I lost my mobile phone – Perdi meu celular
I lost my passport – Perdi meu passaporte
I lost my wallet – Perdi minha carteira