The Rio Vibe

Hey all. So it’s been 18 months since the amazing World Cup in Brazil. The blog will forever be a memory of the unforgettable experience of the ‘Copa do Mundo’, from meeting the England players, going to the games and just the buzz and general vibe every day of this great country hosting the World Cup.

That now belongs to history, for now I just wanted to let anyone know tourists visiting Rio de Janeiro that i’ve launched a new site The Rio Vibe It’s a tourist guide filled with stunning photos, all the information you need about Rio and top tips from a Rio insider! Everyone needs Rio Carnival once in their life eh?!

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Argentinian Attitude mars World Cup Final day

Despite it not being the Brazil v Argentina World Cup final i’d hoped for, I woke up on World Cup Final day full of excitement. Over 100,000 Argentinians were making their way to Rio and I knew the atmosphere around the place would be buzzing.

I left my place to get the bus to Copacabana about midday, around the lagoon on the way it didn’t take long to see the huge army presence, they were everywhere, armed to the teeth with enormous guns. Helicopters flew above and army trucks were on nearly every corner. Continue reading Argentinian Attitude mars World Cup Final day

World Cup Final day here in Rio !

Well it’s finally here and arrived all too quickly, World Cup Final day here in Rio. The sun has made a welcome return and I’m just about to head off to Copacabana for one last, somewhat emotional return to the Fanfest. The World Cup here in Brazil has been absolutely incredible. I’ll never forget it for as long as I live, I’ve loved every moment of it. (Bar the England performances) Brazil have put on an almighty show, i’m gutted it’ll soon be over.

The great party atmosphere here was almost destroyed by those relentless Germans in the semi final (won’t mention the score again) and the Dutch beating the host country yesterday 3-0 didn’t do it any favours but, regardless, the World Cup continues and “luckily” Argentina are bringing 120,000+ fans to Rio for todays game. The party continues! Just in different colours than most of us here would of liked.

Personally I can’t decide whether I want Germany or Argentina to win. It seems most Brazilians want Ze Germans to beat their great rivals, Argentina, to save the embarrassment of them winning in their own back yard, but some also want Argentina to win as it’s a fellow South American country. I for one, just can’t wait for the day to start… More from me tomorrow… I’m off to Copa…Copacabana…


Relentless German Machine destroys Brazilian Hopes

A quick post but necessary…

Well…. There’s nothing you can say about the incredible relentlessness machine that is, the Germans. I’m gutted for the Brazilians, but even if they had 11 Neymars they wouldn’t have got close. Did Germany play incredibly well of did Brazil play incredibly shite?! A mix of both. The only way the party will continue is if the neutrals support Argentina, who have had the best fans throughout to be fair. Brazilians won’t like it but in the end the best team won. Could a team with QPR bench warmer and now Toronto keeper Julio Cesar in goal, Man city reject and old school Maicon at right back, relatively unknown Bernard fronting the midfield and completely flopping Fred really win a World Cup?! Unfortunately no. Fair play to Germany, absolutely superb, surely there is no stopping them.


Misplaced Confidence?

Well it’s finally the day of the Brazil v Colombia game. The sun is shining here in Rio and the mood is a positive one. Most Brazilians i’ve been speaking to are very confident about their chances of beating the free flowing Colombians in today’s highly anticipated match and seem more worried about the possibility of the Germans in the next round.

It’s fair to say i’m probably more nervous than a lot of the locals i’ve spoken to. If the unthinkable was to happen and Brazil lose, i’m almost sure that the great World Cup party atmosphere will somewhat grind to a halt. As good as it would be for the Colombians, it would be terrible for Brazil.

Every Brazilian i’ve spoken to knows that they (the players) will need to cut the emotion from their performance. Too many tears have been shed already, with a final still some distance away. They can’t let the pressure and emotions get the better of them. Colombia have been playing some of the best football of the tournament so far, particularly young prodigy James Rodriguez, and are a force to be reckoned with, Brazil will have to up their game.

One thing that I keep hearing is the reason for their confidence is that they felt Chile had a stronger all round team and were more set up to stifle Brazils attacking game. With Colombia’s tactics heavily based around fast, free flowing, attacking football, they feel it will play directly into their hands and allow Brazil to play their game.

From the minute I woke up this morning I could hear the air horns from my window as the excitement builds leading up to the big match. You can’t help but love this World Cup atmosphere.

In what’s been said is the battle between Neymar and Rodriguez, one thing’s for sure, I can’t wait for what promises to be one of the highlights of an already extraordinary World Cup so far. I for one, can’t wait.



England’s Barmy Army – Part 2 – The day of the game

Following on from my previous post – (England’s Barmy Army – Party atmosphere leading up to the Costa Rica game) Our alarms went off at 7am, on a brisk, sunny morning in Belo Horizonte. It was the day of the game, my first time seeing England at a World Cup. As I mentioned in the last post, England were of course out by now, but we were going to enjoy it for what it was, a World Cup in Brazil ! We got ourselves sorted out, did a cheers for our first beer of the day, at 8am nonetheless and headed out the door towards the stadium.

The Estadio Mineirão holds 62,500 people and is the third largest in Brazil. We took a metro and then got on a bus and about an hour later arrived nearby the stadium.

On the bus on the way to the stadium
On the bus on the way to the stadium

Upon arriving, we soon noticed there was a great mix of supporters from around the globe. The walk towards the stadium was an impressive one, after passing a huge, beautiful man-made lake you can follow various streets around it, sloping up and down towards the Mineirão itself, sitting at the top.

Fans from around the globe marched towards the  in the beaming morning sun
Fans from around the globe marched towards the in the beaming morning sunshine

Continue reading England’s Barmy Army – Part 2 – The day of the game

Brazil fans erupt as Chile miss their final penalty to send Brazil through

We decided to give the fanfest a miss for this one and watched it in a cool hostel in Ipanema, full of Brazilians. Here’s the reaction when Chile missed their final penalty. Who said Brazilians aren’t bothered about the World Cup?! 🙂

Futvôlei with Arsene Wenger, a surreal moment

It was just an ordinary day, be it a World Cup day, here in Rio.  On a sunny Friday afternoon last week I decided to head to the beach to chill out and meet my friend Luca, the same Luca who i’d met outside the England team hotel and eventually got into the hotel with and met the players.  (see previous post -The stuff dreams are made of, meeting the players-

We relaxed on the beach for a while, sunk a Caipirinha (Brazilian cocktail), caught up on our World Cup experiences for a while until Luca headed off for a while to pick up some tickets. We’d spoke about how I’d seen in the newspaper the previous day that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had been playing Futvôlei (famous Brazilian sport, volleyball with your feet and body) on the beach and said how it was a shame we’d missed seeing that. Continue reading Futvôlei with Arsene Wenger, a surreal moment

England’s Barmy Army – Party atmoshphere leading up to the Costa Rica game

Way back last year, after the initial buzz and excitement of managing to get some tickets for England’s final group game v Costa Rica for the World Cup here in Brazil, I took a step back and thought… wait a minute…. just imagine if England lost their first two games, we’d be out by the time we went to see the one England game I had tickets for!! Surely not though, I thought, we’d at least still be in with a chance.

As we know now, that wasn’t the case as a distinctively average England side tumbled out of the World Cup after just two games. Two days before the third and final game of England’s tournament we headed off on an 23:59pm night bus from Rio de Janeiro to Belo Horizonte, six and a half hours away.  With us being out already, the true sense of excitement and the real buzz about the game had been cruelly taken away from us, even the tiniest of chances would of still kept us dreaming.  We left though, determined to enjoy it for what it was, watching England in a World Cup in Brazil, but there was still an overwhelming twinge of disappointment. Continue reading England’s Barmy Army – Party atmoshphere leading up to the Costa Rica game

I have learned how painful it is, I have learned a moment of sheer misfortune can throw people into a realm of despair you don’t know is even possible.

said a glum looking Roy Hodgson, England’s manager somehow still secure in his job after his teams worst ever World Cup performance, still battling to come to terms with a sudden and brutal exit from the World Cup.  Seemingly not accepting the fact England were simply not good enough

A dampening experience

The day of the second England game had come, England v Luis Suarez’ Uruguay. All of a sudden it was a do-or-die situation. Lose and we could be out of the World Cup after just two games, win and we would go into the final game with a good chance of qualifying.

The game was being played in São Paulo but as I couldn’t get tickets I stayed in Rio. It was a miserable day outside and the rain didn’t stop falling all day. Me and some friends had planned to go to the FanFest arena on Copacabana beach again, but with the relentless rain showing no signs of stopping, no one really fancied it. We arranged to meet in a sports bar but nearer the time soon realised it’d be impossible, as it seemed everyone in Rio had the same idea, all the half decent sports bars had ridiculous queues outside. We met in a bar with all the atmosphere of a quiet family village cafe, it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when watching an England game, in Brazil for the World Cup! With time ticking away until kick off it didn’t take us long to change our mind, FanFest it was! A bit of rain wouldn’t hurt us, we were English (and Irish) after all! We jumped in a taxi and off we went. Continue reading A dampening experience

War or Peace?

We’re now into day 8 of the World Cup here in Brazil. Following much in the same pattern as the Cup in South Africa, most of the headlines leading up to the kick off were negative.  There were meant to be huge protests again, great danger in almost every city, stadiums unfinished, Argentinian gangsters arriving to attack the English, all sorts.  I’ve had friends text me from England saying apparently “it’s all kicking off (going crazy) over there” after the first Brazil game. I was there, I couldn’t see anything. Even my lovely Mum text me worried saying to be careful yesterday after loads of people “rampaged” the press section of the Maracanã in Rio.

Now, I’m not saying there’s not been any problems at all, it wouldn’t be normal to have no problems whatsoever, there will always be some situations happen, especially in a place of such extremities as Brazil.  But the media love to report negativities and a bad image is soon created from nothing. I’ve been out and about almost every day of the World Cup and am yet to see ANY problem at all, bar a slight surge forward to get into the FanFest for the first game. No fights, nothing “kicking off” and no certainly no “rampaging”.  The “rampaging” refers to a group of 50 or so Chileans that tried to get into the game against Spain without tickets by gatecrashing the media room. Hardly the Brazilians fault and the matter was quickly dealt with.  I’ve seen nothing but people from all around the world, a real mixture of cultures, united and enjoying what has so far been an incredible World Cup. It’s not uncommon to see someone in a Switzerland shirt cheering on Chile and Brazilians cheer on Belgium, it’s a great experience. Continue reading War or Peace?

World Cup Fever

After the excitement of somehow making it into the England hotel last week and meeting most the players (see previous post- I barely had a chance to calm down and digest it all when all of a sudden opening match day of the World Cup was upon us. Brazil vs Croatia would begin at 4pm.

I woke up on the morning, determined to get the blog updated in time for the first match. With smoke coming from my fingers, sweat dripping off me in the warm Rio “winter”, I just about finished it in time to then jump in the shower, put on my new Brazil shirt, (when in Rome…) grab a banana and a beer and head out the door, literally shaking from excitement! Or maybe it was just from not eating anything other than my takeaway banana as the blog had taken up the whole morning?!

I jumped on a bus and made my way to Ipanema to meet my Irish mate Gary, his Brazilian wife-to-be Gabriela, along with my born-in-Brazil but raised in America fellow partner in crime from getting into the England team hotel a couple of days before, Luca. A good mix.

The whole of Rio was finally alive with the buzz of World Cup, the famous yellow shirts everywhere, every bar big and small packed to the rafters, along with a wave of people heading in the same direction we were now heading – Copacabana beach for the FIFA FanFest – a festival-esque area specially constructed on the beach to hold 20,000 fans hopefully roaring Brazil to victory. Continue reading World Cup Fever

The stuff Dreams are made of. Inside the England hotel, meeting the players… Part TWO


Continuing from yesterdays post –

In yesterdays blog I finished with the following – ……..Little did I know, this day was just about to get one million times better. I would go on to get into the England team hotel and meet most of the England players……

(cont.) As soon as the Netherlands team left on their bus me and Luca rushed off to avoid the crowds and find the nearest bus stop along the beach, to head back to the England hotel and chance it one more time. We jumped onto a packed bus on it’s way to São Conrado, as it crashed around the sharp corners of the coast, we held on for dear life, we recapped the previous events of Dirk and outside the England hotel the day before. A local woman chuckled to herself listening to us, me with an England shirt on and Liverpool shirt in hand, Luca with his bright red Liverpool jacket, on the way to the England hotel – not standing out at all of course -on the bus, packed to the rafters!

Continue reading The stuff Dreams are made of. Inside the England hotel, meeting the players… Part TWO

Rambling mumblings of an Englishman living in Rio