Brazil and the 2018 FIFA World Cup

If you are planning to follow Brazil at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, for which Brazil was the first team to qualify, they have been drawn in Group E with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.

For the group stage the dates for the Brazil diary are:

Sunday, 17 June 2018
Brazil x Switzerland – Rostov-on-Don – Rostov Arena (21.00 /18.00)
Friday, 22 June 2018
Brazil x Costa Rica – Saint Petersburg – Saint Petersburg Stadium (15.00 / 12.00)
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Serbia x Brazil – Moscow – Spartak Stadium (21.00 / 18.00)

The kick-off time listed is first the local time in Russia followed by the UTC/GMT time.

You can follow the 2018 World Cup at our sister site World Cup: The Guide

Brazil tops FIFA world ranking

After a gap of seven years Brazil has returned to the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking,

Not since elimination from 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa at the hands of the Netherlands – being passed in the table by eventual champions Spain and the Netherlands has Brazil held the No1 position. However, recent wins over Uruguay and Paraguay in booking their place at Russia 2018 secured their return to top spot.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015

967px-2015_FIFA_Women's_World_Cup_logo.svgThe draw has been made for the 2015 FIFA’s Women’s World Cup that will be played in Canada between 6 June and 5 July.

The championship, like the men’s version, has been played every four years since the  inaugural tournament held in China in 1991. The United States beat Norway 2-1 in the final, to become winners of the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup. The current title holder is Japan.

The United States and Germany have won the championship twice, and Norway and Japan once each. Brazil made the final in 2007, losing to Germany, and were third in 1999. Brazil’s Marta is the tournament’s top scorer of all time, along with Germany’s Brigit Prinz. Both have scored 14 goals.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is recognized as the most important international competition in women’s football and is played amongst women’s national football teams of the member states of FIFA, the sport’s global governing body.

Brazil is drawn in Group E in 2015 with Korea, Spain and Costa Rica.

The full draw for 2015 is:

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F


Minas Gerais is the champion of Brazilian football

The city of Belo Horizonte, that hosted 6 games during the FIFA World Cup, and the state of Minas Gerais, are the new power house of Brazilian football with local teams Cruzeiro and Atlético-MG winning respectively the Brazilian championship and Copa do Brasil for 2014. The final of the cup was actually played between Cruzeiro and Atlético-MG.

Both Cruzeiro (1976 and 1997) and Atlético-MG (2013) have previously won the Copa Libertadores, the top club tournament in South America.

Rocinha by Rocinha offers a new Rio favela experience

rocinha4A new initiative, the Rocinha By Rocinha Project, hopes to boost tourism to one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas and was created earlier this year by a small dedicated team of young people, all living in Rocinha. The project hopes to start a cultural exchange between residents and domestic and foreign tourists visiting Rio.

Rocinha By Rocinha has adopted a tourist concept largely used in European countries: the free walking tour. At the end of the guided tour, the visitors then have the option of making a voluntary contribution according to how much they want and can afford. All generated funds go directly to the guide that is doing the tour of the day. The same procedure is adopted for the charged packages, such as the tour to the Dois Irmãos mountain and a tour of Rocinha by night.

“We want to show what the culture of Rocinha has to offer and to give a true feeling of what its like to be part of the community,” explains one of the founders of Rocinha By Rocinha, Erik Martins. Erik leads the team formed by five other guides, all with excellent knowledge of the community, good English and a willingness to become entrepreneurs, and help Rocinha to prosper.

“Our tours cover the recent initiatives that are improving the conditions of the slums, but also reveal the locations that still lack of zeal. We don’t want to hide what saddens us, but explain everything that is beautiful and culturally rich around us, as some fascinating panoramic views that fill us with pride”, Erik explains.

Rocinha By Rocinha has the support of a group of voluntary international consultants who are helping to organize and publicize the work and created the Rocinha By Rocinha website and helped develop a solution for the guides to accept payments from international credit and debit cards.

The Swedish company iZettle, one of Europe’s leading providers of mobile payment services and apps, is a partner of Rocinha By Rocinha and this allows foreign tourists, not always with cash to hand, to be able to pay securely by card. Operating in Brazil since August 2013, iZettle is now helping entrepreneurs and professionals from nine countries to accept payments on their smartphones and tablets.

Reservations for Rocinha By Rocinha can be made ​​through the website or by email  to


They think it is all over… It isn’t yet for football in Brazil

ball in netIf you are sorry you missed out on the 2014 World Cup and watching international football in Brazil, you still have another chance in the shape of the Olympic football tournament that takes place 3 to 19 August 2016.

16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will play in the tournament with Brazil qualifying for both as host. Brazil will be hoping to finally win Olympic football gold, the only major football title missing from the country’s CV.

During the Rio Olympic Games the matches will be played at the Maracanã Stadium, but there will also be games to see in four other World Cup stadiums in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Salvador (below) and São Paulo.


World Cup in Brazil sets Twitter records

Twit Germ 1The World Cup in Brazil became the world most tweeted about event. Germany’s 7-1 victory over Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals was the most discussed sports game on Twitter in history. A record 35.6 million tweets being sent during the 90-minute game.

The World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina, which itself generated 32.1 million tweets, set a new tweets-per-minute record when the final whistle went and Germany was crowned champion. This triggered 618,725 tweets in one minute.

Not surprisingly the most tweeted German player in the final was goal scorer Mario Gotze, while for Argentina it was Lionel Messi.

Twitter final 2

Visa cardholders spend US$188M in Brazil in 12 cities during group stage of World Cup

Total spend by international travelers on Visa accounts through the group stage of the World Cup has hit US$188 million. This represents a 152 percent increase year-over-year, and a 141 percent increase when compared to the US$78 million spent by travelers attending the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup during the same timeframe. The highest spending day in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was June 25, when travelers spent US$17.4 million in one day.

Visitors from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and Mexico represented the largest overall tourist spend in Brazil. The most significant spending increases were seen from countries such as Australia (+835%);Colombia (+765%); Chile (+519%) and Mexico (+396%).

photo 2-1Visa Everywhere Travel Report for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, which analyzes travel data and spending through the use of Visa credit, has also found that some smaller Brazilian cities, which are hosting tournament games, realized some of the most significant increases in spending by international travelers.

Data through the group stage of the tournament, which includes opening day (12 June) through the close of the group stage (26 June), revealed triple-digit increases in spending, compared to the same period last year, in cities such as Natal (+851%); Cuiaba (+963%); Curitiba (+167%); and Manaus (+409%).

“The group stage of the World Cup has shown that international tourism was strong well beyond the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as fans traveled throughout Brazil to support their teams,” says Ricardo Fort, SVP Global Sponsorship Marketing, Visa Inc. “The fact that these games are bringing positive economic impact to regions of Brazil typically less visited by international travelers, is another sign of success for the tournament overall.”