What to expect from Brazil’s 2014 World Cup

Image: Flickr / Credit: Cyrio Attias

 

Image: Flickr / Credit: Cyrio Attias
Image: Flickr / Credit:Cyril Attias

The year has just started and we football fans are starting to wonder what to expect from this year’s World Cup.

Brazil has long been waiting for the moment it would host the biggest football tournament in the world, however, so far the scenario looks concerning.

The World Cup tournament will spread throughout the country. 12 Brazilian capitals will be hosting the event. Still, six of the 12 stadiums are yet to be delivered.

Since last year we have seen a wave of protests against the costs that the World Cup project has had. Millions of people took to the streets to express their anger against the government’s over expenditure.

Billions of Reais (Brazilian Currency) were spent on the preparations for the event while millions of people lack in healthcare, decent public transport, food, education and etc.

So far, the project has become one of the most expensive World Cup Tournament’s of all times. It has cost 300% more than the initial estimate.

The total spent so far on the Brazilian World Cup Project has reached US$40 billion.  The amount is already way more than the amount spent on the last three World Cup editions together.

Obviously, one of the main reasons for the staggering amount spent is corruption, which is Brazil’s biggest issue. Many Brazilians have gathered together using online media as a tool in an attempt to boycott the event.

While there are still protests going on, it is very likely it will be a minor issue during the tournament. So let’s face it! It’s too late Brazil is going to host the World Cup in a few months.

In case you are heading to Brazil in June, don’t be disappointed, it’s not all lost and there is a huge chance you will have a great time. Here are some of the things you can expect from this year’s Brazilian World Cup:

Welcome to Brazil. Well, don’t expect people to speak English… or Spanish for that matter! Even though there is an enormous amount of bilingual volunteers working in the World Cup. The country is huge and not every person you approach will speak English, however, Brazilians love foreigners and are normally very welcoming and receptive.

Rio de Janeiro/ Image: Flikr Credit: Mike Vondran
Rio de Janeiro/ Image: Flikr Credit: Mike Vondran

Brazilians love Partying. Yeah, I’m sorry. With great weather conditions Brazil does have an insane selection of great Clubs for all tastes. Places are open until very late (or very early depending on the way you see it) and people are very open to talk and do everything to make you have a good time.

Rain. It is a tropical country. June and July are considered winter months in Brazil so it rains a lot. But, depending on which city you will go to, you can expect some 30 degrees out of the blue.

Photo: Sao Paulo : Credit: Flavio Ensiki
Photo: Sao Paulo : Credit: Flavio Ensiki

Infrastructure. They say everything will be finished on time. I’m sorry but that can’t be true. An event of this dimension requires organization and there are still some stadiums and other infrastructure projects that won’t be finished on time.

Passion for football. That’s insane! In general Brazilians are very passionate people, and when it comes to football even more so. Football is played everywhere, in the streets, on the beach in a play area in many of the shanty -towns, with uniform or barefoot. In Brazil football is more than just a sport – it is a National pastime.

Parque do Ibirapuera Image: Flickr / Credit: Marlon Dias
Parque do Ibirapuera Image: Flickr / Credit: Marlon Dias

Spontaneity. Brazilians are loud and noisy.  We shout, dance, kiss and play football in the middle of the streets (as I previously mentioned). It’s very common. As very open people you can become their best friend within 10 minutes.

Don’t trust public Transport. As in most countries our public-transport is not trustworthy so expect huge delays. In Brazil car rentals are very expensive, and with huge traffic jams in the major capitals, be prepared and expect the unexpected.

Rio de Janeiro Image: Flickr/ Credit: Yukun Chen
Rio de Janeiro Image: Flickr/ Credit: Yukun Chen

Careful with your belongings. As sad as it can be. Poverty and violence are major issues. Be extra careful when taking your new iPhone or your huge DSLR camera to take pictures in public places.

Overpriced. Yes, you are a foreigner so I’m sorry you will be ripped off. Even for Brazilians the cost of living is high. Things are generally overpriced especially in the important event seasons, so expect to pay at least three times more than you normally would if visiting Brazil in a different occasion.

Food. Brazilians love a feast. So, don’t be surprised: The Brazilian food will drive you crazy. Immense selections of exotic fruits, meats, seafood and we are very good at making pizza. Hahaha sorry Italians!!! You will find great selections of Arab, Japanese, Italian and many other types of cuisines.

Image: Flickr /Credit: Thai House Restaurant Group
Image: Flickr /Credit: Thai House Restaurant Group

Go to a Rodízio. Yes, RO-DI-ZIO. It’s a style of restaurant we have for all types of pizza and barbecue meats. You can experience an enormous selection of food for all tastes.  It’s similar to an All You Can Eat.

Beauty everywhere. Yes, The country is beautiful, extremely beautiful with happy, cheerful people, there are colors everywhere and its beauty can get to you.

Guaruja/ Sao Paulo Image: Flickr / Credt: Image: Flickr /Credit: Marcus Simanovic
Guaruja/ Sao Paulo Image: Flickr / Credit: Marcus Simanovic

 So, in case you are going to the World Cup 2014, enjoy, have a good time. I’m sure one way or another the World Cup in Brazil will have a great and unforgettable energy for the “fortunate” people who are going.