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Fortaleza - 2014 World Cup

2014 World Cup Cities: Fortaleza

If you watched the matches of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, you’re probably already familiar with Fortaleza, one of the six host cities for those games. With a population of approximately 3 million, it is one of the largest cities in Brazil. It’s located in the Northeastern part of the country and you can get around the entire area easily by bus, metro and taxi.

 

BEACHES

Beach - 2014 World Cup

 

Since it’s located along the ocean, one of Fortaleza’s major tourist attractions are its beaches. It should average about 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the area during World Cup, which is perfect beach weather.
Head to Mucuripe Beach if you want to get a look at the traditional fish markets of the area. For shopping and dining around the beach, go to Meireles Beach where there’s a daily handicrafts fair. Alternatively, check out Iracema Beach for more of a nightlife / party vibe. This is the easternmost beach, located closest to the center of the city. You can enjoy surfing and kitesurfing at several of the area’s beaches. If you want to enjoy sunbathing, your top choice beach is Praia do Futuro Beach.

 

CULTURE

 

If you want to soak in the culture and attractions of the area then there a few key things you need to put on your itinerary. First off is Theatro José de Alencar, named after the famous author and influential romantic novelist who was also a lawyer. The theatre has live performances almost nightly and is considered one of the major architectural landmarks of the city.
Another landmark is the clock at Ferreira Square, which is considered the heart of the city. It’s a great urban city square and you can enjoy walking around and checking out the historic buildings all around it.
Get some great views of the city from Ingleses Bridge and Metal Bridge. Finally, make sure to see some of the famous cathedrals in this Roman Catholic city such as the Metropolitana Cathedral and the Fortaleza Cathedral.

 

FOOD

 

Make sure to enjoy the traditional grilled meats of a rodizio while you’re in Fortaleza. A rodizio is a type of all you can eat restaurant where the waiters keep bringing you samples of food until you’re full!
Churrascaria Gheller is a favorite restaurant for those meats, not only because it’s tasty, but because dinner is accompanied by the entertainment of a stand-up comedian several days each week. Also, don’t hesitate to try the seafood at the fish market or the nearby beach restaurants since the city is known for its fish.

 

YOU’RE SO HOT!

 

Be careful if you seem to be getting a little more attention than usual from gorgeous young Brazilian women while visiting Fortaleza. Its not that you don’t deserve it, but be aware that Fortaleza is considered the prostitution capital of Brazil.

 

WHERE THE ACTION WILL BE

 

Estadio Castelao - 2014 World Cup

By Fábio Lima/Portal da Copa/Março de 2013 [CC-BY-3.0-br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Fortaleza stadium is called the Estadio Castelao. It was built in 1973, but renovations for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup have seen the stadium’s seating limit increased to 60,342, an underground parking lot with 1,900 spaces, fully refurbished dressing rooms and a new roof. Even access to the stadium has been upgraded. Four exclusive bus lanes, a light rail vehicle line and two metro stations, were created to make it easier for fans to reach the venue. The complex it will form part of will include restaurants, movie theaters, a hotel and an Olympic centre.

 

 

Chile Fans - 2014 World Cup

Chilean Football Fans Storm Into Maracana

On Wednesday, June 18, Chile played Spain at the Maracana Stadium. A group of ticketless Chile supporters decided to find a way into the stadium by going through the Media Center underneath the stands.

 

In the process, they broke down a temporary wall and pushed their way through journalists and TV crew.

 

Although security was slow to react, they were eventually able to detain a large portion of the group.

 

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USA - 2014 World Cup

USA Stuns Ghana

The match started off with one of the quickest goals in World Cup history (5th it turns out) at the 31 second mark by Clint Dempsey. The US had a great chance to make it 2-0 in the 19th minute, but the Ghana defense was able to keep the ball comfortably out of the net.

 

USA’s Jozy Altidore was lost due to a hamstring injury in the 22nd minute and then Dempsey suffered a broken nose in the 33rd minute, but he was able to return.

 

Ghana started to turn things around in the second half as they began to press hard for the equalizer. Their effort was rewarded in the 82nd minute when Andre Ayew took a backheel pass from Asamoah Gyan and made a superb left-footed strike to tie the match at 1.

 

The celebration was short-lived though, as only 4 minutes late, John Brooks powered home a header off a corner kick to reclaim the lead for the US.

 

USA avenges their losses to Ghana from the two previous World Cups where the losses resulted in elimination on both occasions.

 

Chile - 2014 World Cup

Chile Eliminates Spain

In stunning fashion, Spain will be one of the first teams eliminated at the 2014 World Cup (along with Australia).

 

Alexis Sanchez provided the set up for Eduardo Vargas as he scored Chile’s first goal of the day in the 20th minute. Chile added another goal before halftime to add salt to Spain’s wound. A routine freekick by Chile was inexplicable punched by Iker Casillas directly to a Chilean player in the box. Charles Aranguiz was perfectly positioned and just chipped a shot into an open net while Casillas was rendered helpless to stop it.

 

Spain tried to regroup in the second half, but they seemed to lack the type of energy, determination and desire needed to come back from such a deficit.

 

With this 2-0 loss, Spain becomes the fifth reigning World Cup holder to be eliminated in the group stages. It happened to Italy twice (1950, 2010), Brazil in 1966 and France in 2002.

 

 

Brasilia - 2014 World Cup

2014 World Cup Cities: Brasilia

Considered the youngest city in Brazil, Brasilia serves as the federal capital of the South American country and its Federal District. It sits along the Brazilian Highlands to the Central-west region and was founded in April, 1960 to serve as the new Brazilian capital. With an estimated population of 2,789,761 as of 2013, the city is one of the most populous cities in the country and boasts of one of the highest GDP per capita among the major Latin American cities.

 

Modern city

 

Brasilia has a unique, modernist landscape which was designed by renowned urban planner Lucio Costa & architect Oscar Niemeyer. It boasts of a mix of urban zoning and swooping freeways featuring a restaurant sector, a banking sector and an embassies sector, with the lower-income population being forced out to the nearby satellite cities (cidades-satelites).

 

Food options available

 

Believe it or not, Brasilia does not have its own traditional, regional cuisine, probably due to the fact that it’s relatively young. It’s inhabited & visited by Brazilians from all over the country including many international guests and has arguably one of Brazil’s best restaurant bases. Here, you can find delicacies from various regions with bias on the Midwest. Additionally, there are many great places with rich influences from French, Arabic, Japanese, Spanish or Italian cuisine.

Things to do in Brasilia

 

Explore the Metropolitan Cathedral

One of legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer’s greatest masterpieces, the Metropolitan Cathedral is a completely unique building both in Brazil and in the world! Tourists come from different parts of the world to see the stunning glasswork inside the building.

 

Metropolitan Cathedral - 2014 World Cup

 

Take a tour of the TV Tower

One of the world’s tallest buildings, Brasilia’s TV Tower offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding areas. You can choose to go all the way to the top or simply tour the bazaar & street fair at the base of the tower during weekends.

 

Visit the National Park

The Park boasts of numerous hiking trails that takes you to the thick, lush forests in the middle of the Brasilia’s center. The two popular ones are the 20-minute Capivara course and the hour-long Cristal tour (which is ideal if you’re the more hardy hiker), and both will take you around the park. One of the biggest activities here, however, is visiting the mineral springs which are located at the heart of the park. You will find 2 areas of mineral springs, both which are believed to aid in healing.

The Estadio Nacional de Brasilia (Stadium)

 

Estádio Nacional de Brasilia - 2014 World Cup

By Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa (Portal da Copa) [CC-BY-3.0-br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Soccer is one of the major passions of the people of Brasilia so it’s little wonder that the strikingly beautiful Estadio Nacional stadium was given a significant role in the 2014 FIFA World cup. A multi-purpose stadium, Estadio is currently used mainly for football matches and has a capacity of 72,788.

 

The present day stadium sits at the same location where the Nacional Mane Garrincha, named after legendary Brazilian footballer Garrincha, stood. Designed in 1974 by Icaro de Castro Mello, the original stadium was completely demolished in 2010 to pave way for the new stadium. Estadio Nacional features many bells & whistles as well as a lowered pitch for better viewing for the spectators.

 

Additionally, it was built on carbon neutrality which makes it a great venue for both the world’s famous sport and Mother Nature. With a total cost of US$900 million, the stadium is the world’s 2nd most expensive football stadium after Wembley Stadium of England, and will play host to seven games during the World Cup, including an important quarterfinal match.

 

Getting to Estadio Nacional de Brasilia

According to the Stadium Guide, the stadium is found just 2 kilometers from the city’s metro station Central and can be accessed using public transportation. It’s easy to get to it from the center of Brasilia.

 

Food options available

There are numerous restaurants near the stadium offering a great variety of dishes. One common delicacy is the typical Brazilian steakhouse concept that goes casual with burgers & grilled steaks and a side of rice & beans, which is the national staple. Other dining options include Brazilian Pizza served rodizio-style and traditional churrascaria.

 

 

Upsets - 2014 World Cup

Top 10 Biggest Upsets In The World Cup (Part 2)

Here’s the remaining Top 5 in our list. If you missed Part 1, click HERE!

 

5. East Germany defeats West Germany at the 1974 World Cup

 

This match is still regarded as one of the most politically charged matches ever played in the World Cup. Germany was still divided between East Germany and West Germany and the match at Volksparkstadion was going to be intense. East Germany did not have much reputation in the world of football, whereas West Germany had made a name for themselves and were considered as one of the favorites to win the 1974 World Cup. East Germany surprised everyone on that day and they managed to score the lone goal of the game in the 77th minute. West Germany failed to equalize and went on to lose the game. West Germany had the last laugh, eventually moving on to win the 1974 World Cup.

 

4. Algeria defeats West Germany in the 1982 World Cup

 

Algeria was participating in the World Cup for the very first time and West Germany was the reigning European champion at that time. Everybody expected West Germany to just roll over the inexperienced Algerian team. However, Algeria stunned everyone when they took the lead in the 54th minute. West Germany eventually tied it up in the 66th minute, but Algeria shocked the world again when they scored another goal off a one-timer. This goal from Algeria turned out to be the match winner and the reigning European champions were defeated by the first timers at the World Cup.

 

3. Cameroon defeats Argentina at the 1990 World Cup

 

Argentina had previously won the World Cup in 1986 and were expected to remain at the top of the tournament at the 1990 World Cup. The team from Cameroon did not have any big stars in their lineup and Argentina was expected to win without much effort. This was just the second World Cup for the team from Africa and this was the very first match in the 1990 World Cup. The football world was stunned when Cameroon managed to take the lead in the 67th minute with an incredible header. They managed to hold onto this lead even though they were down to only 10 players after the 54th minute of the game. Cameroon finished well in the tournament and managed to reach the quarter-finals, the furthest they’ve finished in their history at the World Cup.

 

2. USA defeats England at the 1950 World Cup

 

England, in the 1950s, were considered to be the best football team in the world. England was tipped to be the favorites along with Brazil and Uruguay to win the 1950 World Cup. United States, on the other hand, did not even have a full-fledged professional team. England was widely expected to beat the United States team with ease, however, the first and only goal of the match was scored by USA in the 37th minute. USA managed to hold them off until time expired. This defeat proved to be a big loss for England who could not manage to enter into the final round. USA also did not win another match in a World Cup until 1994.

 

1. Uruguay defeats Brazil in the 1950 World Cup

 

Brazil was hosting the 1950 World Cup and this was the final match of tournament. Approximately 200,000 people were watching this game live at the the Maracanã Stadium. Brazil started the tournament as favorites, were playing on home soil, and they only needed a draw to win the World Cup, whereas Uruguay needed to win to lift the World Cup. The Brazilians started the match by continuously attacking and they were rewarded when they scored the first goal in the 47th minute. But Uruguay responded with a goal in the 66th minute. In the 79th minute, Uruguay scored the last goal of the game and held on to win the match and the World Cup title.

This match is widely known as Maracanazo, which roughly means “The Maracana Blow”.

 

 

 

Croatia - 2014 World Cup

Croatia Routs Cameroon

This was going to be a tough match for Cameroon from the start, and it didn’t take long for Croatia to get on the board. Ivica Olić received a pass from Ivan Perisic and neatly placed it into the back of the net to put Croatia up 1-0.

 

Cameroon certainly didn’t make things easy on themselves as Alex Song decided it was a good idea to elbow a Croatian player in the back in the 40th minute. He received a red card for the act and put Cameroon down to 10 men.

 

The Cameroon keeper, Charles Itandje, made two mistakes which lead to Croatia’s second goal. Firstly, a poor kick giftwrapped the ball Ivan Perisic on the left side with only clear space between him and the goal. Secondly, Itandje anticipated a cross to the middle, but Perisic instead tucked the ball into the open space left behind by the keeper.

 

Mario Mandzukic scored the last two goals of the match. In the 61st minute, he sent home a powerful header off a corner kick and in the 73rd minute, a juicy rebound bounced right to him which he calmly just tapped in to make it a 4-0 game.

 

 

Netherlands - 2014 World Cup

Netherlands Wins Exciting Match Against Austrailia

Arjen Robben opened the scoring in the 20th minute. It started when he took a pass in the midfield, shook off a challenge in the process, ran the ball upfield all by himself and put a shot into the lower right corner past the keeper.

 

That goal was very short lived as right off the ensuing kickoff, a cross to Tim Cahill was perfectly struck in mid-air over the outstretched hands of Jasper Cillessen, off the crossbar and into the net. Brilliant efforts on both sides.

 

The score remained even until the 54th minute when Australia’s Mile Jedinak took advantage of a penalty kick. Australia couldn’t hold the lead for long though as Robin van Persie was able to even the score again in the 58th minute. He received a nifty little pass behind Australian defenders while staying onside and sent a laser of a shot into the top left corner.

 

A giveaway to the Aussies gave them a golden opportunity to take the lead, but couldn’t capitalize. Instead, the Dutch turned back the other way and Memphis Depay put a great amount of curl on the ball and found the back of the net, just out of reach of Mathew Ryan’s hands.

 

Tim Cahill and Robin van Persie both received yellow cards during the match and will miss their next game.

 

 

Upsets - 2014 World Cup

Top 10 Biggest Upsets In The World Cup (Part 1)

The World Cup comes once every four years and it brings out the best in all the teams. Most of the time, it’s the powerhouse teams who prevail, but there are always opportunities where the underdogs have surprised the world with shocking wins. Here are our top 10 biggest upsets in World Cup history.

 

10. USA defeats Portugal at the 2002 World Cup

 

USA finished last in the 1998 World Cup. Therefore, nobody expected them to cause any trouble with Portugal in 2002. The Portugal team was loaded with stars and they were expected to easily win over the United States. However, Team USA had other plans. USA scored first in the game with a goal from John O’Brien in the fourth minute. This lead was increased to 3 goals to nil by the 36th minute, with another goal from Brian McBride. Portugal was not just a spectator as they scored one goal in each of the two halves, but that was not enough, with USA winning the game 3 to 2.

 

9. South Korea defeats Italy at the 2002 World Cup

 

Even though South Korea was hosting the World Cup in 2002, nobody expected them to win against Italy. Italy scored first in the game and they managed to maintain the lead for quite some time, but South Korea scored in the 88th minute to tie the game at 1-1. In the extra time, South Korea stunned the world by scoring the golden goal and the Italians lost the match. South Korea went on to reach the quarter-finals, the furthest the country has ever advanced in World Cup history.

 

8. Northern Ireland defeats Spain at the 1982 World Cup

 

This was the last match for Spain in the group stage and they were easily expected to win against Northern Ireland. Spain had already qualified and they did not need a win to move to the next round whereas Northern Ireland needed to win to move to the next round. Spain were the favorites as they were not only the better team on paper, but they were also hosting the World Cup that year. However, Gerry Armstrong from Northern Ireland had other plans and he scored the lone goal of the game and Northern Ireland managed to beat Spain, 1-0.

 

7. Bulgaria defeats Germany at the 1994 World Cup

 

Germany was expected to win this game and though the Bulgarians were not expected to give up easily, nobody expected them to defeat the powerhouse of football at that time. Germany scored first in the game when they were awarded a penalty. However, Bulgaria managed to equalize the score later in the game with a beautiful free kick. Three minutes later, they extended the lead with a perfect header and then played out the rest of the game to beat Germany.

 

6. Senegal beats France in the 2002 World Cup

 

France had just won the World Cup in 1998 for the first time. Inspired by the maverick Zinedine Zidane, France was expected to put up a great show in the 2002 World Cup. However, Zidane suffered an injury before the World Cup even started and had to sit out for the first few matches. This proved to be crucial as they played Senegal in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup. France was stunned when Papa Bouba Diop of Senegal scored in the 30th minute to take the lead. France made some amazing attempts, but could not score a goal for the remainder of the game. They also failed to move beyond the first round. Senegal finished 7th in their one and only appearance in the World Cup tournament.

 

 

Move on to Part 2 HERE!

 

 

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