It’s been a long old road to Rio for England and their fans. Draws against Montenegro and Ukraine left the Three Lions with a tense final international week. Roy’s boys passed with flying colours. And now the countdown to June 12 has well and truly begun.
Brazil 2014 is one of the most hotly anticipated World Cup tournaments of all time. The pristine white beaches of Rio will provide almost an idyllic backdrop to a month of samba, tika-taka, and world class football, and when England touch down, there will be tens of thousands of supporters to cheer them on.
All 51,000 tickets allocated to England have already been snapped up as they travel to Manaus, Sao Paulo, and Belo Horizonte, whilst Roy Hodgson’s side will base themselves directly opposite the Copacabana beach.
For most fans it’s going to be long hours travelling to cheer on Steven Gerrard and co. with their first port of call Manaus, almost 2,700 miles from the Maracana. From there however, a good place to set up your sun lounger is undoubtedly the centre of Brazilian football, Rio de Janeiro.
Only a 45 minute flight to Sao Paulo, and half an hour longer to the Estadio Mineirao it’s certainly worth consideration, and with the team also based in the city, it will make for an incredible atmosphere.
For most fans travelling to Brazil, whether that be England, the Netherlands, Australia, wherever, the chance to sample the unique lifestyle is perhaps the definitive factor in fans making the trip. Rio has this. And more.
Of course the Maracana will be the centrepiece and guided tours will give you the chance not only to see where the Jules Rimet will be lifted this summer, but retrace the steps the likes of the Ronaldo, Zico, and the great Pele who all stepped out onto the hallowed turf.
It won’t be just the iconic stadium that will be enjoying the football buzz however, the city will be awash with events such as fan parks and carnivals, which whilst they will be unforgettable, could cause problems, mainly being accommodation.
It’s likely hundreds of thousands of people will flock to the beaches. Argentina, Spain, Chile, and Belgium to name a few will all be playing in the city, meaning hotel space could run short.
The Copacabana will no doubt be the hottest property. The England side have already booked into the Royal Tulip Hotel, which is no stranger to major tournaments, hosting the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP), whilst the likes of the Copacabana Palace will also be well sought after.
Like any World Cup trip, planning will be essential. Brazil is a huge country with a range of climates and unbelievable qualities. It’s likely that the FIFA World Cup 2014 will be the greatest of all time, and by getting in a good base in Rio or Sao Paulo, you can be at the very heart of it.