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The Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup is in full swing and already looks likely to be remembered as one of the best World Cups ever.
The Brazilian people are famed for their friendliness, generosity and optimism. In an apparent nod toward these characteristics, Brazil 2014 has so far served up a colourful celebration of all that is beloved about the world’s most popular sport. If you are planning on heading over to Brazil to catch some of the action you can still buy all tickets here.
There are still plenty of people heading out to this beautiful and diverse country to sample the atmosphere and enjoy the footballing fiesta, even though some countries are already heading home. As we edge towards the knockout stages the stakes are raised and there is still much excitement.
Reigning champions Spain may have been unable to successfully defend their crown, but hosts Brazil are safely through to the next round, which can only help sustain the party atmosphere inside the grounds. Expect talk of a Brazil-Argentina final to now begin in earnest.
Witness the goals (and there have been many), the skills, the flying saves and—not least—the passionate renditions of each country’s national anthem. They have been a great feature in the tournament so far, particularly those of the South American nations, with players and supporters often continuing to sing boisterously long after the music has finished.
In contrast to the smiling faces seen around the stadiums during matches, worries about the financial cost of hosting the FIFA World Cup have caused some unrest in Brazil. There have been protests and marches that have descended into violence at times, which can cause alarm to tourists. Like any big trip, if you are heading to Brazil, it is essential to be well prepared beforehand.
Have all your documents in order: (passports, health information, visas etc.); make sure family or friends know your itinerary and where you are staying; know your budget and try to stick to it; learn some key phrases in Portuguese—all these tips will help keep you safe, but also allow you to relax and enjoy your stay.
And enjoyment is the aim of all supporters. With the Olympic Games also coming to Brazil in 2016, whether you aim to spend your day drinking coconut water and playing beach football on the Copacabana’s dazzling white sands or perhaps sample the rather homogenised atmosphere of planet FIFA at one of their Fan Fest sites—truly an experience in itself—there has never been a better time to go.