Football’s Coming To Its Second Home: An England Fan’s Guide
It’ll seem a little odd the dulcet tones of Vindaloo being belted out amidst the carnival atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro. Me and me Mum and me Dad and me Gran chanted to an orchestra of drums, violas, and the iconic Apito de Samba. But England fans have already snapped up their 51,000 ticket allocation for the summer, and what is guaranteed is that Brazil 2014 is going to be a bit of a cracker.
There hasn’t been an air of anticipation to a World Cup quite like this for some time, and with less than 60 days until kick-off, England fans better start preparing.
Whilst Brazil is set to be alive, full of colour, and plenty going on, we’re also expecting chaos.
Government officials are already in a panic about redrawing air routes for the summer, whilst some stadiums have yet to be even completed. Patience is probably going to be a key word this summer, but with England fans having had nothing to cheer about for almost 50 years, that shouldn’t be a problem.
A mainstay for most of the Three Lions supporters is likely to be Rio. It’s only an hour’s flight from Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte where they take on Uruguay and Costa Rica, and will most certainly be at the heart of the World Cup throughout the tournament.
So much so, Roy Hodgson’s men themselves are staying there. Gerrard and co. will take up residence in the Royal Tulip Hotel on the Cobacabana, an area no stranger to big events with the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart having played on the beach, whilst the Brazilian Series of Poker is hosted in the actual team hotel.
But there’s more to the beach than the Royal Tulip, England fans will no doubt frequent thousands of rooms along the beach, and with the Fan Park just over the road, it’s an ideal location.
One of two gathering points will most certainly be the Fan Park, where Brazil’s iconic culture will be combined with the sport that has become synonymous with the nation.
Of course a trip to Rio wouldn’t be complete without taking in the Maracana. With a history that rivals Wembley, you can take a look around the stadium, sampling some of Brazil’s finest footballing moments, as well as walking the same corridors the likes of Pele, Ronaldo, and Zico have tread.
For most England fans, it’s expected to be a brief trip. The odds aren’t exactly stacked in favour of Roy’s boys, so make sure you sample everything, whether that be with your Mum or your Dad or your Gran. Although in the searing heat, it’s best to avoid the vindaloo.