Shakira’s song for the 2014 World Cup

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I’m not exactly a music critic, but this wouldn’t be a World Cup blog without an opinion on Shakira’s 2014 World Cup soundtrack. so here goes. First, listen to Shakira’s soundtrack for the previous World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Remember it? Good. Now listen to her new World Cup soundtrack: Do you hear the difference? I do. In this track (I refuse to call it a song) someone is banging on a synthesizer, trying to...
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Arena Corinthians claims another victim

The Arena Sao Paulo stadium is seen as construction continues in Sao Paulo
So I was watching the news last Saturday, and for the first time I was really struck by the news from São Paulo that a third worker had died at the site of the Arena Corinthians. The fatal accidents that have occurred earlier in Sao Paulo and Manaus also made an impact on me because the World Cup is my topic of interest, but  this time it was different. Two weeks ago, I did an interview with...
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Problems in Porto Alegre, Brasilia on stand-by

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One aspect of Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup is preparing for preparation-problems situations (that’s a lot of P’s in one sentence). Here is what’s going on. We all know the problems with the remaining unfinished stadiums in Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Cuiaba. They are all scheduled to finish in time for the World Cup, the organizing committees are now experts in telling the public that everything is okay and under control, but there is absolutely no...
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An interview with Robinho

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If you think this is an article about an interview I did with Brazil and AC Milan forward Robinho da Souza, I have to disappoint you. This is an article about an interview I did with a more interesting Robinho, in my opinion. During the preparations for the 2014 World Cup, the stadiums in Brazil have been the subject of much debate. The construction and renovation projects have been very expensive and  most projects came in over...
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Arena Corinthians nears its completion

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The Arena Corinthians is not done yet, but they are making serious progress in São Paulo. Last week, the last truss of the “roof-bridge” was installed and Odebrecht, the company who is building this stadium, made a nice video about it. This stadium will be an impressive piece of architecture. Watch it in 1080HD. The squad of Corinthians couldn’t wait for the stadium to be finished. They have already done some training in their new home.
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The Unlucky Few

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It happens every four years and it is a national-team-players nightmare. Getting injured a couple of months prior to the World Cup. This time it’s no exception. We have already seen some starting-11 players being carried of the pitch this season, and they will not come back until after the World Cup (or will they?). Last Sunday, Dutchman Kevin Strootman was added to the list of the unlucky few. The following is a list of players who will...
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Arena Amazonia completed in Manaus

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  Stadium number nine has been completed in Brazil, the Arena Amazonia in Manaus. Prior to the World Cup draw in December, this was the venue to avoid. Now, Manaus is still relatively far away and the weather will still be humid and warm. But I hope this stadium makes up for all the inconvenience because this is a beautiful looking thing. The exterior of the stadium is characterized by diamond-shaped, translucent panels. It gives the stadium a...
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The 2014 World Cup Jerseys: The Worst

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Yeah, I know. It’s a cheap shot to take Jorge Campos‘ jersey as the featured image for this post. But hey, it’s because of his jersey that we will never forget this Mexican goalkeeper. Ugly football jerseys are nothing new. Athletic Club Bilbao, Hull City, Australia and Mexico have made huge mistakes in the past. Fortunately, none of the 2014 World Cup jerseys are as bad as these, but there are some missed opportunities, odd decision and...
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The 2014 World Cup Jerseys: The Best

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It is a tradition and part of the pre-World Cup build-up: the new jerseys. We all know Brazil’s jersey is yellow, Italy’s jersey is blue and the Netherlands will always wear orange. But within the limits set by their colors,  jerseys can change a lot. It’s in the details: removal or addition of small patterns, colors, a collar and/or a texture. Home-jerseys are somewhat sacred. The limitations are more strict. Away-jerseys, however, do not really have a...
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The World Cup stays in Curitiba

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Sighs of relief yesterday in Curitiba. FIFA is convinced that the arena da baixada will be completed on time. The World Cup stays in Curitiba. The renovation of the stadium will be completed on May 15th. At least 1500 workers are needed to do this and the schedule is very tight. There is no more room for error in Curitiba. This is not only good news to Curitiba, but also to FIFA itself and Brazil. Taking matches...
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Deadline nears: Will Curitiba lose its host status?

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Last month, FIFA gave an ultimatum to the organizers in Curitiba. They have until today to meet some demands in order to finish the Arena da Baixada on time. Curitiba has done everything it can to keep the World Cup in the city. Today, Curitiba must have made considerable progress in the work schedule, they must have a financial guarantee that the stadium will have the resources to be completed and they must have increased the number...
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Estadio Beira-Rio completed in Porto Alegre

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Stadium number 8 has arrived: Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. It is an oval shaped stadium, covered with palm-leaf like panels. A beautiful new look for the stadium built in 1969.  And yes, to get the comparison out of the way, it looks like the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, venue for the 2010 World Cup. As mentioned, the stadium opened in 1969. It is home to Sport Club...
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Natal completes Arena das Dunas

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It has been a while since we’ve seen a stadium complete its construction, but now the remaining stadiums will be completed one by one. First arrival in 2014: the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. This is the smallest stadium used during the World Cup with a capacity of 42.086 and it will only be used during the group stage. It has a real modern, 21st century look with its organic shape and asymmetric...
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