The upcoming FIFA World Cup hosted by Brazil is just around the corner. From June 12th to July 13th all sports fans will be looking at Brazil to watch the most important football event worldwide. Held every four years since 1930, the World Cup was cancelled only twice in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II and its aftermath. The formers champions of the World Cup are Brazil (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002), Italy (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), Germany (1954, 1974 and 1990), Uruguay (1930 and 1950), Argentina (1978 and 1982), England (1966), France (1998) and Spain (2010).
Since 1998 (hosted by France) the tournament features 32 national teams. The first stage is the group stage when the 32 teams are divided in 6 groups of 4 teams each. At this point each team will play against the other 3 teams in the same group. The top two teams of each group advance to the next stage. The knockout stage starts in the eighth finals with 16 teams in eight single-elimination matches in which the winner advance to the quarter-finals, followed by the semi-finals, the third place match (between the defeated teams of the semi-finals) and the final.
The opening match (Brazil vs. Croatia) will take place at São Paulo on June 12th. The twelve host cities along with São Paulo are Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador with 4 group stage matches in each.
Besides the tournament, football fans will have the opportunity to experience such a variety of attractions in the host cities and their surroundings. Curitiba, for instance, is a well-developed city with some nice attractions like the Botanical Garden, the Wire Opera House and Oscar Niemeyer Museum among others. However, for those going to the Paraná State, a top not to miss attraction is Iguaçu Falls in the city of Foz do Iguaçu, one of the most impressive natural beauties on earth. The trendy Praia da Pipa is a 2 hours’ drive away from Natal. Read More »