As if Rio de Janeiro wasn’t colourful enough, during the summer of 2014 the streets will be full of the colours of every top footballing nation in the world. With qualifying going on at the minute it still remains to be seen which countries will be taking part in the competition, but one thing is for certain – Brazil will be there, and that will mean some of the most exciting football ever seen will be taking place.
The previous Brazilian World Cup was held in 1950, and holds the honour of being the first Post War World Cup. Although many European countries took part, they were still rebuilding, and the 12 years between events meant that many feared the competition would never come back.
Brazil made it to the finals in that competition, and in a nation where everyone is football mad it seems likely that the stadiums will be packed to cheer on the home side all the way to the final again. Ladbrokes’ odds on Brazil to win the 2014 World Cup currently stand at 7/2, and considering they’re the only country guaranteed to be there those odds would perhaps be considered a little conservative for many people.
There will be 12 Brazilian cities involved in the 2012 World Cup; 6 will house venues that are being constructed especially for the event, with another 6 already home to stadia that are already being heavily upgraded to house the million plus people that will make their way to South America for the tournament.
The new stadia are expected to cost in the region of $522 million, and are set to be some of the most breath-taking buildings in some of the most beautiful cities in the world. The historical Maracanã, for example, was home to the 1950 World Cup Final between Brazil and Uruguay.
Fortaleza is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and is world famous for its football – and its beaches. Fortaleza is currently home to two stadia; one of which – Manaus’s Arena Amazonia – will be one of the showpieces of the country’s football offering.
For anyone considering a trip to Brazil for the World Cup, the country has set up an incredibly useful tourism website at visitbrasil.com, which not only provides an interesting background on all the fantastic cities that are hosting matches, but also offer some great suggestions on what to do while you’re visiting.