World Cup 2014 in Brazil (33 Photos)

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil was an absolute blur, but luckily I managed to capture a few highlights on camera that I’ll be able to show my grandkids one day.

If you’ve already read the World Cup Wrap Up than you have an understanding of how things went down, but either way, a picture’s worth a thousands words so here’s 33 shots to share my World Cup journey from start to finish…

World Cup 2014 in Brazil - Australia Fanatics in Cuiaba
World Cup 2014 in Brazil – Australia Fanatics gather before game one in Cuiaba to watch Brazil vs Croatia (June 12)

I jumped on a flight to Cuiaba on June 11th where I began my journey with the Fanatics tour group. It was overwhelming and intimidating to say the least. My job was to capture the experience of almost 2,000 Australian soccer fans through shooting and editing daily videos for their social networks.

World Cup 2014 in Brazil - Australia Fanatics in Cuiaba
Following the Australian Fanatics parade to the Socceroos first match against Chile in Cuiaba, Brazil (June 13)

Nervousness turned to excitement on the first walk to the stadium in Cuiaba. The energy of the Australian crowd was through the roof. Locals came out to greet us passing by and Chileans mixed in with the celebration.

World Cup Brazil 2014 - Australia vs Chile - Cuiaba Stadium
Outside the entrance of the World Cup Stadium in Cuiaba before the Australia vs Chile match (June 13)

Outside the Cuiaba stadium in Northern Brazil to watch Australia vs Brazil.

World Cup 2014 in Brazil - Australia vs Chile - Cuiaba Stadium
The stadium was electric for game #1 in Cuiaba – Australia vs Chile (June 13)

There were plenty of goosebumps walking in and hearing all the screams and cheers before my first match. Such a rush.

World Cup 2014 in Brazil - Australia vs Chile - Cuiaba Stadium
Chi Chi Chi! Le Le Le! Viva Chile!! (June 13)

The Chilean fans were amazing. Embracing the Aussies and cheering together.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Airplane Mode
Never missed a game. On the flight from Cuiaba to Porto Alegre I was able to keep my eyes on Colombia! (June 14)

The Fanatics chartered flights from Cuiaba to Porto Alegre to get ready for match two.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Porto Alegre
An off day in Porto Alegre allowed us to catch up with some friendly locals (June 15)

Off the pitch, I had a blast escaping the Aussies for a bit to hang out with locals around town, before reconnecting for an incredible night on the town.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Porto Alegre
Then the Fanatics put on an ridiculously epic show that brought the house down in Porto Alegre. (June 16)

Brazil vs Mexico, June 17th. The streets of Porto Alegre’s Cuidade Baixa neighborhood is overran by fans from all around the world (below).

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Brazil vs Mexico - Porto Alegre
The city stops. The crowd covers the streets of Porto Alegre for the Brazil vs Mexico match. (June 17)

The view from our hotel where we could see the Stadium glowing with anticipation for the next day’s match.

World Cup Brazil 2014 - Porto Alegre Stadium
An inviting view of the World Cup Stadium in Porto Alegre the night before the big match against the Dutch. (June 17)

Game day. One of the best games of the tournament, hands down.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Porto Alegre Stadium
Australian Fanatics storm the stadium in Porto Alegre to witness Australia vs Netherlands! (June 18)

One Australian told me he would just be happy if they scored. They almost won!

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Australia vs Netherlands - Porto Alegre
The crew gearing up for Australia vs Netherlands – one of the best games of the entire tournament! (June 18)

After Porto Alegre it was off for a few days in Florianopolis, where we soaked in some sun and then lost it all partying like zombies with Fatboy Slim.

Brazil World Cup 2014 Fanatics - Fatboy Slim Concert
After Porto Alegre the Fanatics and I went to Florianopolis for a quick stop and incredible Fatboy Slim party (June 20)

Best concert I’ve ever been to.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Fanatics Tour - Fatboy Slim Concert
Fatboy Slim up close and personal. Killin’ it. (June 20)

Next stop, Curitiba, Brasil for game three of the Australian World Cup schedule.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Fanatics Arrive in Curitiba
Fanatics Arrive in Curitiba and takeover the Castelo do Batel (Batel Castle in Curitiba) before the Spain match. (June 23)

The energy was different here. There weren’t many Spain fans and Australians didn’t have much to cheer for.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Australia vs Spain
Australia vs Spain in Curitiba. The crowd was 75% Aussies, but that didn’t change the Socceroos fate. 3-0, Spain. : (June 23)

It was a rough one. But I was just excited to be there…

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Australia vs Spain - Curitiba Stadium
Pure excitement for the third match against Spain. Unfortunately, it didn’t rub off.

After Curitiba and a quick stop in Sao Paulo, it was back to Rio to watch the rest of the games.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Copacabana Beach Fan Fest
Back on Copacabana beach kissing the trophy, chopping it up with my favorite fans, Argentina & Colombia. (June 27)

The game I was looking forward to most… Colombia vs Uruguay at Maracana!

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Colombia vs Uruguay at Maracana Stadium Rio de Janeiro
The heart of the World Cup. Maracana Stadium. Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. (June 28)

What an atmosphere, what a game. James Rodriguez is the next big thing.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Colombia vs Uruguay at Maracana Stadium Rio de Janeiro
The energy inside Maracana Stadium for the Colombia vs Uruguay was like nothing I’ve ever felt. Incredible. (June 28)

2-0, Colombia!

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Colombia vs Uruguay at Maracana Stadium Rio de Janeiro
“Olé, olé, olé, ola, Colombia va a ganar” (June 28)

After Colombia vs Uruguay, I thought it was time to rest. Wrong. Two days later, I took a flight to Salvador to watch the USA take on Belgium.

World Cup in Brazil - Flying to Salvador
Soccer Head. Flying to Salvador with a full load of Belgian and American fans to watch USA vs Belgium (July 1)

USA!!!

Brazil World Cup 2014 - USA vs Belgium in Salvador
24 Hours in Salvador to support my compatriots – USA vs Belgium (July 1)

I believe…

Brazil World Cup 2014 - USA vs Belgium - Salvador Brazil
The view of Fonte Nova Arena at halftime of the USA vs Belgium match. 0-0 at this point thanks to Howard. (July 1)

that we can…

Brazil World Cup 2014 - USA vs Belgium - Salvador Brazil
We left it all out there. (July 1)

almost win. I love the team and where they’re going, but we need new cheers bad. Meanwhile, back in Rio…

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Brazil vs Colombia
Such a great vibe at the Colombia vs Brazil match back at Fan Fest in Rio de Janeiro (July 4)

After 24 hours in Salvador, it was back to Rio again for Brazil vs Colombia.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Brazil vs Colombia
Always listen to the ones with the watermelon helmets (July 4)

The Copacabana Fan Fest was my second home over the next two weeks. After Brazil vs Colombia, it was Brazil vs Germany. I should have stopped with Colombia.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Brazil vs Germany - Fan Fest Copacabana - Brazil vs Germany
The crowd was off the hook at Fan Fest before the Brazil vs Germany. And I never use off the hook. (June 8)

Shortly after the concert ended and game started, the celebration stopped.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Brazil vs Germany - Copacabana Fan Fest
Brazil (1) vs Germany (7). Tough night. (July 8)

The wind and rain just added insult to injury as Germany handed Brazil a serious butt whooping.

Brazil World Cup 2014 - Argentina vs Netherlands - Copacabana Fan Fest
The reaction right after Argentina beat Netherlands in penalty kicks. Crying and chaos ensued for Argentines (July 9)

The next night Argentine held up their end and made it to the finals thanks to PKs against the Netherlands.

Brazil World Cup 2014 Final - Argentina vs Germany - Copacabana Fan Fest
A sea of Argentines took over the Fan Fest at Copacabana Beach to watch the Final against Germany. They had Fernet

With that win, thousands of Argentines migrated to Rio where they took over the beaches and streets of rio for the next week.

Brazil World Cup 2014 Final - Argentina vs Germany - Copacabana Fan Fest
Everyone positioned themselves to catch a glimpse of the World Cup Final at Copacabana Fan Fest (June 13).

Unfortunately, the wild ride ended on June 13th as Germany took home the trophy of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

I didn’t have much to celebrate so I went to a churrascaria to eat my feelings, just like a did four years ago.

Read my full World Cup Wrap Up here.

My name is Gareth Leonard, a Marketing Director turned World Traveler with a passion for slow, meaningful travel. I have been traveling the world full-time for the past 9+ years and document it all on Instagram and YouTube. Come join me!

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