Brazil to Host World Cup... Finally!
Granted, they were the only one's bidding, but Brazil achieved a victory this week in its nomination as Host Nation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Despite having won the tournament 5 times, Brazil has not hosted the event since 1950. Rio de Janeiro had a warm up event this summer with the Pan-American games -- despite a rocky start they pulled it off without too many issues.
Given the national importance that is devoted to the sport, it will be no surprise if Brazil pulls off a spectacular event. In Rio de Janeiro a Carioca isn't a true Carioca if he or she doesn't cheer fanatically for a team. There are four main soccer teams in Rio. The most popular team in Rio is Flamengo, wearing red and black colors. Flamengo is adored by all classes, and hated by the other three teams. A "clássico" (extremely important game) is played between Flamengo and Fluminense, also called "FlaFlu". You'll see people drinking and cheering at bars, restaurants and streets when a FlaFlu is on and you may take your life in your hands if you go to Maracanã to see the game live -- saying that the crowds get riled up would be an understatement.
Vascaínos, as the Vasco crowd is called, is another legion of great, older soccer admirers and Flamengo haters. Botafogo is the fourth largest team in Rio, mostly made famous by its soccer genius Garrincha (better than Maradona, many Brazilians will say). If you happen to be in Rio before 2014, be sure to head to Maracanã and check out what all the World Cup hype is about.