With only a few days left till the first match of the World Cup the excitement is building and the flags are being hoisted, pasted, adorned and displayed on cars, houses, businesses,buildings and people. Of the previous 2 World Cups, both times I was living in South Florida where there are over 100,000 Brazilians living and making presence known during the largest sporting event in the world but nothing compares to being in the country for this historic event, although the craziest sports fans in the world will be out in force in Germany.
It’s impossible to turn on the television and not see the players, or stories about Germany hosting the event. Everywhere around the city the billboards are plastered with pictures of their heros and every bar and restaurant is offering specials during the Cup to attract fans to come and eat, drink and watch the game in their place. This build-up is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed before. Oddly it’s the most Patriotic I’ve ever seen the people from any single country act, about anything at any time.
The Brasilians are so proud of their soccer excellence, and so confident of their world dominance, that they’re making plans already as to where they’ll be watching the finals. This is a bit brash since there’s 32 teams vying for a spot in the finals and often only 1 goal separates the winners from the losers but considering the number of over-paid super-stars that are on the team and that collectively these men have scored more goals than practically all other players combined, added to which most of the players have experienced the extra pressure associated to world cup matches, I’d have to side with the bookmakers and agree that they’re the favorite to win.
Next week I expect the country to slow down and essentially stop during matches but I’m looking forwards to experiencing the camaraderie that comes with watching the games with friends and family. It’ll be very interesting to witness the effects of a victory (if it happens) and I suspect that I’ll write another dispatch or two about the in-country spectacle of the event. Go Brasil!