Hats and Masks and Bears, Oh My!

Costumes of the Cup

The World Cup means there are some colorful kits on the soccer field, from the orange kits of the Dutch team, to the bright yellow Brazilian jerseys, to the blue and white stripes of Argentina. But even more colorful than these uniforms are the uniforms of the fans: with hundreds of thousands of soccer fans packing the stands to support their teams, there are sure to be some fans who show their devotion on their sleeve…and back, and front, and, well, all over.

As we head into the quarterfinals, VOA Football presents the best 2014 World Cup fan outfits (so far):

Maybe he’s trying to be the new “captain” of the Dutch team? (Reuters)
Netherlands fan.

These Korean fans’ big hats are great for showing support and keeping cool. (Reuters)
Korean fans.

These Japanese fans’ hats, meanwhile, might have been unpopular with the people sitting behind them. (Reuters)
Japanese fans.

The same goes for these Argentine fans’ hats, apparently in homage to Argentine Pope Francis. (Reuters)
Argentine fans.

At least there are gaps to see through in these Mexican fans’ headdresses. (Reuters)
Mexican fans.

Meanwhile, can this US fan even see the match through his outfit? (Reuters)
US fan.

These fans might not be on the Brazilian team, but at least they can pretend. (Reuters)
Brazilian fans.

German fans embracing the national symbol – the bear – through their costumes. (AP)
German fans.

This Uruguay fan seems inspired by the Jim Carrey movie The Mask…and Luis Suarez’s infamous bite. (AP)
Uruguay fan.

And this Greek fan is completely covered…even if his outfit is little more than body paint. (Reuters)
Greek fan.

Most Goals = Most Successful?

World Cup 2014: The Best Ever?

Brazil Soccer WCup Brew Ha Ha

In the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup, there were fears that the event would be a disaster. Would the stadiums be finished in time? Could the teams face the steamy tropical heat of northern Brazil? Would pollution and protests mar the games?

Well, according to FIFA, the 2014 World Cup isn’t a disaster. In fact, they’re calling it the best World Cup…ever.

According to Reuters:

Brazil 2014 may have had organizational glitches, but it is shaping up to be the best on-field World Cup thanks to the exciting soccer being played, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said on Tuesday.

“I think it is the best World Cup in terms of the soccer,” Valcke said in an interview with Globo television’s SporTV cable channel. “It’s the World Cup with the most number of goals since 1982.”

Even before the 32-nation tournament enters the quarter-final phase this week, more goals have been scored than at the previous World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

A pretty bold statement…considering the tournament isn’t over yet.

Fans Look to Get Bitten By Suarez

He may be back home in Uruguay, but Luis Suarez is still having a huge impact in Brazil after his infamous biting incident.

Well, not Suarez himself. But rather, his face.

Suarez ad.

An Adidas advertisement along Rio’s Copacabana Beach prominently features Suarez, mouth agape, ready to chomp. As you can see in the images below, tourists have taken notice, and are using the ad to get some memorable souvenir pictures…without the feat of actually getting bitten (photos by AP and Reuters).

Suarez ad. Suarez ad. Suarez ad. Suarez ad. Suarez ad.

World Cup in Washington

High Spirits – But No Beer – in Dupont Circle

VOA’s Michael Lipin reports on a World Cup viewing party held in Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle. Although sponsored by the German embassy, thousands of US fans stormed the park to cheer on their team. One German fan noted that the scene was similar to the public viewing parties in Germany, with one big difference: in Germany, he explained, the public viewing parties come with beer:

Football Favelas

Net Dreams in Brazil’s Favelas

Every time Brazil’s national team plays in the football World Cup, normal life in the country comes to a halt.  In rich neighborhoods or in poor ones, people gather together to watch the action.

Football can be the ticket out of the grinding poverty of neighborhoods like  Tavares Bastos, a poor community built on a hill overlooking Rio de Janeiro’s famous Flamengo beach.

Jugo Bonito, as the game is often called, is part of life for residents of this favela, where most people work for minimum wage or in the informal economy.

VOA’s Scott Robb takes a look here.