Beautiful Game, Beautiful City

Brasilia Hosts Football… And Architectural Wonders

Among the 12 locations hosting this year’s World Cup in Brazil, there’s one that stands out from the rest:  the capital city, Brasilia.

Now home to around 2 million people, the city on the Preto and Descobertos rivers was built 54 years ago in the country’s central highlands to replace Rio de Janeiro as Brazil’s capital. Thanks to the renowned late Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, the city is an architectural gem.

Niemeyer, who, among other structures, conceived of the United Nations building in New York, received carte blanche to design Brasilia in the early 1960s along with planner and fellow architect, Lucio Costa

Niemeyer’s style is certainly not conventional. Take, for example, the city’s cathedral. From the outside, it’s less than impressive. Once inside, though, the light and shapes reveal themselves.

The Palacio da Alvorada, home to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, is also something to see for the 500.000 tourists expected to visit during the World Cup.

Listen and watch here as VOA’s Nicholas Pinault explores some of the sights and sounds of Brasilia’s people and architecture.

World Class Football, World Class Coiffures

What Makes a World Cup Footballer Great?

It takes a lot to be top-level footballer: Years of aerobic training, long hours of honing skills, plenty of time doing weight workouts, endless strategy sessions.

Don’t forget plenty of time at the hair dresser.

International superstar Christiano Ronaldo raised plenty of eyebrows in the Portugal-USA match Sunday with his finely etched sidewall hair-do. But he’s certainly not the only player in Brazil making a fashion statement on the top of his head.

Here’s a look at some others: (and if you see others that should be included, tweet them to #VOAfootball or send them to VOA’s football Facebook page)

World Cup Insecurity

Stadiums’ Security Beefed Up After Vandalism, Protests

Authorities in Brazil have beefed up security around stadiums where World Cup matches are being played following incidents in several Brazilian cities.

The new security measures were announced after some participants in an otherwise peaceful group of 1,300 demonstrators vandalized banks and cars in Sao Paulo last week.

VOA’s Scott Bobb has a closer look: