It’s often agony for England fans at major tournaments. The heart-break of a penalty shoot-out in Kiev. The heart-break of a penalty shoot-out in Gelsenkirchen. And, well, the heart-break of a penalty shoot-out just about everywhere has meant England fans have walked back to the airport, broken. Disappointed.
But Brazil, that will be different. Won’t it?
Of course that doesn’t mean the result. Roy Hodgson’s young Lions face an uphill battle in the Group Stage alone, but as those distraught fans pile out of the Maracana, Arena Corinthians, or wherever it may be, they will head out onto the carnival-ridden streets of South America. And that can’t keep you upset for long.
World Cup 2014 is set to be one of the greatest tournaments of all time. Fans bearing the St George cross have already bought up their quota of tickets and will be visiting Manaus, Belo Horizonte, and Sao Paulo, where it’s likely most supporters will gather.
Sampa, as it’s known to locals, has a rich footballing history and is the perfect city for England fans to lay camp. The likes of Kaka, Pele, and Roberto Carlos all made their name in the city, whilst the dancing samba girls that line the streets are as admirable one of his bending free-kicks.
First port of call for every fan however should be the Estadio do Pacaembu and the Museu do Futebol. Paying homage to the brand of football everyone knows and loves, the museum explores the evolution of Brazilian football, as well as the greats of the game including Socrates, Zico, and Ronaldo.
It won’t be until June 19th England fans get to sample live football in the city, when the Three Lions take on Uruguay in what will be a crucial match, but with the Netherlands, Chile, South Korea, and Belgium in town, some aspects could become a logistical nightmare.
Thankfully there are a number of good hotels in Sao Paulo. The Bourbon Convention at Ibirapuera is just off the incredible Ibirapuera Park, whilst the Holiday Inn at Anhembi is no stranger to welcoming world-class events, hosting the likes of the BSOP.
The arrival of other fans amongst the infamous Sampa nightlife, will make it a truly spectacular event. The buzz of orange, red, blue, and white shirts will bring the metropolis-like skyscrapers to life, and add vibrancy to the impressive Vale do Anhagabau which will be at the very heart of Brazil’s World Cup offerings.
So as you’re walking off the terraces. Beaten, most likely on penalties. Soak up the atmosphere. Enjoy it. And remember, it’ll probably be our year in Russia. Right?