South America Living

Perfect Timing For Brazil

Jules Rimet Trophy

Jules Rimet Trophy

The World Cup is upon us once again, it barely seems like four years since the world’s footballing finest assembled to compete for the right to hold aloft the planet’s most aspirational sporting trophy. But this tournament has it’s own special magic. Brazil may prove to be not only be an idyllic location, but also a fortuitous one.

This year’s hosts have won the Jules Rimet no less than five times, and throughout the history of the competition the host country has won the competition six times. Home soil advantage could well play a significant role, beneath the beautiful South American sun.

Even saying the name of Brazil immediately evokes the happiest of thoughts about “the beautiful game” – trickery, imagination, and technical excellence.

The festival of football in Brazil provides a rare treat to combine the trip of a lifetime with the all the excitement and theater of this incredible competition. For travelers, planning the time away has actually been a pleasure. The choice of great locations to stay seemed endless and securing tickets for the games using has been simple and painless.

Gremio Arena Porto Alégrense,Brazil

Gremio Arena Porto Alégrense,Brazil

The Brazilians are synonymous with football played in the most inspirational style.This is proven by the demand for Brazil’s best players in the the world’s top competitive leagues.

Oscar, star of Barclays Premier League side Chelsea, provides an insight into the mentality of the Brazilian way of playing the world’s favorite game:

“I grew up in a suburb of Sao Paulo called Americana. Life was very different there compared to the center of the city.

“A lot of Brazilian players are self-taught, like me. My first coaching didn’t come from a club but a local Escolinha, a soccer school run by the municipality so you didn’t have to pay. There was one near to where I lived next to a little local pitch.

“I learned how to play football as a kid through trial and error, playing every day in the street or in the park. When you start kicking a ball about in Brazil, there are no tactics. Whoever can dribble the ball and score just does it. And that’s what I learned to do.”

Young Brazilian Fan

Young Brazilian Fan

Felipe Scolari has proved himself to be a genuinely innovative coach, capable of dismantling the tika-taka (the possession game favored by the Spanish), and he is experienced enough to keep Brazil in the very top flight of World soccer. Since taking over the Seleção in November 2012, Scolari’s Brazilian team has only lost two of 20 games.

Brazil play a 4-2-3-1 formation, and one player to keep a keen eye on will be Tottenham’s Paulinho. He scored two goals at the Confederations Cup, including the winner in Brazil’s 2-1 victory over Uruguay in the semifinals.

He was also voted the third-best player at the World Cup warm-up tournament, behind Brazil teammate Neymar and Andres Iniesta of Spain.

Paulinho is a tough tackling player who has the intuitive abilities required further up the field, to augment his side’s attacking moves. Scolari revealed to the press that when he told Paulinho of his inclusion in the Brazil squad, the 25 year old had tears in his eyes.

Paulinho has experienced a difficult time domestically, with his Premier League side Tottenham changing managers mid-season. At one stage the midfielder was linked with a move to join his countryman Oscar at Stamford Bridge, but the arrival of Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino persuaded him to stay with the Lilywhites.

Courtesy of a high-profile transfer to Barcelona last year, another major character to look out for will be Neymar. The 22 year old will be wearing the No. 10 jersey, the number made famous by the immortal Pele, who led Brazil to three World Cup titles. No pressure!

Neymar is the latest fashion accessory

Neymar is the latest fashion accessory

Brazil is definitely among the favorites this year, and it is impossible not to understand why.

Editor’s Note: This post is brought to us by fellow traveller and futbol enthusiast Andre Smith. Thanks Andre…and as always, Buen Viaje!

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