Blogs from Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

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Today was the day of the big Final in Rio. I had nothing planned for the day other than the game. The closing ceremonies were to start at 2:20pm with the kick-off at 4pm. For Germany, was it going to be the day star #4 was added to their jersey? For Argentina, was it going to be Messi’s day, the day he’s finally considered alongside Pele and Maradona as the 3 greatest of all-time? I was completely divided. I am a huge Messi fan, likely the best player I have seen play in my time following the game. Maradona was where the bar was at as far as I was concerned until Messi came along a few years ago. Both from Argentina, both small in stature, both huge in game and talent. What separates Messi from ... read more
Main stadium entrance
About to enter the stadium, showing off my ticket and wearing my new jersey
The Final


I didn’t have much planned for today other than to watch the 3rdplace game between Brazil and Holland. Because the game was only at 5pm, we went to the beach after eating a late breakfast. We had breakfast at the local supermarket’s cafe. At the beach, Bruno and I kicked the ball around and took turns taking shots at each other. Everything was going alright up until I kicked the ball way up high and onto the field behind our net. It was then that someone punted the ball up in the air towards us, and Bruno decided to catch it. He managed to bend his finger backwards while trying to catch the ball and hurt himself. It got pretty swollen fast but we kept playing nevertheless. Afterwards, we joined Antonia and Nina closer to the ... read more


When I woke up this morning, I remembered that the Brazilian soccer federation (CBF) inaugurated their new headquarters a month ago and in their new building, a museum dedicated to the national team. The main attraction: replicas of the 5 World Cups. I say replicas because the trophy for first 3 World Cups Brazil won was different than the one used nowadays. It was called the Jules Rimet Trophy and Brazil got to keep the lone version of this trophy when Brazil won it for the 3rd time in 1970. The only problem is that the lone version was eventually stolen and melted. Yes, Brazilian robbers destroyed the World Cup trophy. Brilliant!!!! Read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup_Trophy So I grabbed a bus to Barra da Tijuca, which is a town/beach just beyond Ipanema and Leblon. ... read more
Copacabana Palace Hotel
CBF logo on the new building
CBF Headquarters


Today was a travel day back to Rio de Janeiro. I had to be at the airport, which is located about 1 hour north of Belo Horizonte, at 10:30am, so I got up extra early today. I grabbed a bus to the much smaller airport that is located in the city and from there an express bus to the International Airport. I got there at 9:15am or so because I got quite lucky with all my buses. While checking in for my 11:42am, I asked if there was an earlier flight and the lady then put me on the 9:42am flight giving me 2 more hours in Rio. Sweet!!! After a nice and quick flight, I grabbed my ticket to the Final at the Santos Dumont airport in Rio. Then I grabbed a bus to Leme ... read more


Die weiteren Tage verschlechterte sich nicht nur das Wetter, als ob die Niederlage Brasiliens gegen Deutschland nicht genug gewesen wäre. Regnete es nach diesem Spiel was es nur konnte, selbst für Petrus war dieses Desaster wohl zuviel. Vor dem Spiel war die Welt für uns und auch unsere brasilianischen Kollegen noch in Ordnung. Bereits 4 Stunden vor dem eigentlichen Spiel fanden wir uns im Fifa Fan Fest ein. Die Brasilianer wie Sie sind, tanzten und sangen zu der gebotenen Live Musik, so wie wir uns das aus der Schweiz oder generell aus Europa einfach nicht gewohnt sind. Manchmal fragte ich mich ob die Menschenmasse in erster Linie wegen dem Spiel hier ist oder einfach um vor dem Spiel eine Party zu feiern. Doch es ist halt einfach das Lebensgefühl der Brasilianer und dieses Gefühl steckt an, man ... read more

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My main goal today was to visit my favorite soccer club, Fluminense. I had been there before, way back in 2001, but they recently renovated the trophy room and happened to have won 2 national titles since then, so a new visit was warranted. Fluminense is an important club in Brazilian soccer history, and has a huge following. It is at this club that the Brazilian National Team played its first game. The club itself is over 100 years old. My dad and uncles are all Fluminense fans, it is all I know. When I was 8 years old, back in 1984, Fluminense won the national title. I remember that time vividly watching soccer with my dad while eating popcorn and drinking coke. Sundays afternoons were a lot of fun. In 1984, our team was lead ... read more
Main headquarters
Assis & Washington, our heroes from back in the day (1984)
Assis


Nach nun 3 Wochen ohne Meer fanden wir nun dem Weg an dieses, 5 Gehminuten vom Strand der Copacabana bezogen wir unser Appartment. Unser Gastgeber Lorenzo ein gebürtiger Italiener übergab uns diese schön eingerichtete Wohnung. Nicht nur die nochmals höheren Temperaturen als in Belo Horizonte sondern auch die grosse Fifa Fan Meile bemerkten wir bei unserem ersten Bummel durch das Strandviertel. Neben zwei grossen Leinwänden waren auch etliche Shops und ein riesiges Zelt "Fifa Fan Shop" vorhanden. Hier herrschte wirklich Fussballfieber, die Strandpromenade war vollgestopft mit Leuten. Dieses Wetter und die tolle Stimmung sowie das anstehende Spiel Holland gegen Costa Rica animierten uns sogleich die ersten Biere in Rio zu geniessen.... read more


Our plan for today was to climb up the Leme rock, but not really climb it, more like walk up a nice trail. Bruno, Nina and I started our walk and in no time we ran into little monkeys. We saw about 6 or so right away, 5 of them hanging onto a single branch. The walk was nice and peaceful and the sun was out in full force; it must have been 32C or so. Bruno and I took turns carrying Nina up the hill, but Bruno endured the steepest part. Once we reached the top, we had a nice view of all that Rio is famous for: the Christ, Sugar Loaf and Copacabana Beach. You also get a nice view of the FIFA Fan Fest that was already full in anticipation for the Argentina ... read more
View of Leme and Copacabana
Nina playing
Back side of the Sugar Loaf


Gameday!!!! Because I went to bed late last night, I woke up a little later than I had wanted. For a 1pm game, I’ve been heading out the door at 10am and arriving at the stadium 2 hours early. Being early allows me to take my photos, enjoy the atmosphere and find my seat while the stadium is fairly empty. I then enjoy my beer watching everyone arrive. Today, I woke up at 9:50am, so I quickly and rushed out the door. I grabbed breakfast on the way to the subway station, which is a 10-15 minute walk from the apartment. I was a concerned how long it was going to take me because the Maracana Stadium is the biggest one being used in this World Cup, and everyone going to the game was going to ... read more
Main entrance (but not mine)
View from my seat
It's good to be back


Today was another travel day, this time from Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro with a quick stop in Sao Paulo to change flights. In the 1.5 layover, I grabbed my ticket to the France vs Germany game, cancelled a flight and ate lunch. Both flights were quick and smooth. In Rio, we landed at the airport that sits right in front of the Sugar Loaf. I waited there for my friend Bruno who was coming to the airport to pick up his wife Antonia and daughter Nina. I had seen them in Blumenau on Saturday night and they were to land in Rio about 40 minutes after me. While waiting, I all of a sudden noticed Brazilian soccer legend Rivellino standing right in front of me. He was a star in the 70’s and was on ... read more




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