With just over two weeks remaining before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, I’ve been traveling like crazy to see as much of Brazil as possible before the chaos begins on June 12th.
My goal is to return to my apartment in Rio de Janeiro to watch the games and hopefully still find a way to get involved on some level (see full World Cup Schedule here).
Over the past month I’ve had the opportunity to visit six World Cup host cities including Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Manaus. It’s been very interesting to see the stadiums and hear what locals have to say about the upcoming event.
Each city I’ve been to still has work to do before the World Cup begins.
In Porto Alegre and Brasilia, there’s still a lot to do outside the stadium as far as perimeter construction goes (parking, cosmetics, crowd flow). In Sao Paulo and Manaus, they’re working on external non-stadium construction still and traffic flow patterns for game day. In Curitiba, they haven’t finished putting in the seats yet!
I have no doubt that the World Cup will go on as scheduled, but I wonder how many planned projects won’t be finished once the group round begins.
For the most part, Rio de Janeiro is ready from a structural standpoint, but their social distractions are still a cause for concern.
All the social and economic factors are really too bad because as I travel around the country, there are so many mixed emotions to what should be, at its core, such an amazing sporting event.
Local friends in Curitiba pointed out that there weren’t many Brazilian flags being hung on homes around town, like there have been in past World Cups. Once I noticed this, It was evident everywhere.
The only people who are really showing their patriotic spirit are the event sponsors and commercial places like restaurants and shops.
I have a feeling that once the cup starts, this will all change and everyone will rally around the team.
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Tickets
Many reports have surfaced warning fans about purchasing re-sold World Cup tickets on any site other than FIFA. FIFA has told fans buying World Cup tickets from unauthorized sellers can result in getting barred from stadiums. How much of this they will actually track on game day, I’m not sure.
I actually bought my two tickets from Viagogo (non-authorized seller) and I’m still working out if I want to keep them.
Viagogo told me that they can send the tickets to my apartment in Rio but they are not liable for anything that happens to the tickets once they arrive on Brazil soil.
Basically I would just be rolling the dice for the round of 16 and a final four match.
The World Cup Soccer Games
Along with all the political, social and economic factors going into the World Cup, there is also the athletic side – the side that everyone is excited about.
Brazil is still the favorite, with Argentina and Germany close behind (see odds).
In US news, the All-time USA scoring leader Landon Donovan got snubbed from the American WC Roster.
Otherwise, teams are finishing up their last “friendly” matches before arriving in Brazil within the coming days to train.
My World Cup Plans
I just found out last week that the perfect opportunity I was counting on fell through so it’s back to the drawing board on accomplishing my goal of “working at the World Cup.”
I have a few dwindling leads still, but they haven’t been easy to come by.
I’m not giving up yet because Brazil’s reputation for waiting until the last minute might work out to my advantage this time.
In a worst-case scenario, I will sell my two tickets, stay in Rio, and watch all the games from the beach or at a local bar outside the stadium. Things could be much worse.
Any contacts or information you may have regarding working at the World Cup opportunities are always appreciated!
Otherwise, stay tuned for a TON of new content coming soon from all over the country, including travel videos from many of the World Cup host cities.
And, as always, follow me on Instagram for my most up-to-date travel stories before they hit the blog.