Brazil is the place to be next year

JOHANNESBURG – While there might be some problems here and there with regards to the construction of most stadiums scheduled to host the Fifa World Cup in 2014, Brazil seems ready to welcome millions of soccer lovers to their shores.

I had the opportunity to attend one of the symposiums whose theme was the ‘Future of Football’ in Brazil’s southern city of Porto Alegre this week. Porto Alegre is one of the host cities and is home to Carlos Dunga, former captain and coach of the national team.

The seminar was to look and talk about Brazil’s state of preparedness and also to take clues from the 2010 World Cup organisers.

One of the main speakers at the seminar was former 2010 World Cup CEO, Danny Jordaan, who was recently elected Safa president. Jordaan advised Brazil to rally behind next year’s World Cup project because it will change the face of the country forever.

He reminded them of the millions of visitors who would inject more money into the coffers of country; the visitors will also create a new boom in the already roaring tourism industry.

At the end of the seminar, one thing was clear to me and all those who were in attendance; Brazil is the place to be next year. The buzz is already building up in this gigantic country and wherever you go, you can smell that the World Cup is headed this direction.

This is a huge country and travelling from one venue to the other can be a taxing issue. But there is no denying that next year’s World Cup will be a tournament to remember.

During my eight-day stay here, I had the opportunity to visit Sao Paolo, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. One thing which strikes you about this country is its beauty, meaning visitors here next year will really have a blast.

You see, apart from pockets of social unrest in some parts of the country, Brazil is a place of choice for visitors from around the globe. Brazilians are party animals, colourful and enjoy entertainment whether sporting or social.

Brazil is tailor-made for human gratification. It has everything a visitor needs on this earth.

It has some amazing beaches and its economy is one of the fastest rising economies in the world (experts predict that in the next five to 10 years, Brazil’s economy will rival those of USA and China), meaning there will be something for everyone.

With a population of slightly over 200 million, this country would definitely host a World Cup to remember. Add the tropical delicious foods on this part of the globe – and of course those gorgeous skimpy-dressed women scattered all over the beaches – and you have heaven on earth.

While the 2010 World Cup was considered by many soccer lovers as an experience one enjoys once in a lifetime, Brazil will take the world’s biggest sporting tournament to the next level. I can sense that.

For if you are not a soccer person through and through but don’t want to stay at home during the tournament, this sub-continent offered other various modes of entertainment.

You can visit the historic Amazon River basin with its massive rain forest and fearsome jungle. You can also visit the Iguacu Falls which border Brazil and Argentina.

When in Rio de Janeiro, you can go for sight-seeing in downtown which has one of the biggest Cathedrals on earth, there is also the biggest statute of Jesus Christ in Rio, Christ the Redeemer which attracts thousands and thousands of tourists’ everyday and the surfing for water sport lovers is also awesome. The city of 6 million people will also host the final at its majestic Maracana Stadium.

While this was my second time visiting this amazing country, next year will definitely be my third, God-willing.

I love this country.

Feedback: Tinotenda.Panashe@gmail.com, and sports@dailynews.co.zw.

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