Ok, so 2014 might seem like a mere dot on the sporting horizon right now, but anyone planning on catching the games live would be wise to start planning a loooong time in advance.
Brazil is famous the world over for the quality of its football, and when you add that to Rio de Janeiro’s reputation for frenzied parties, glorious weather, beautful people and spectacular beaches, you have a recipe for tourist gold.
Footy fans can expect hotels and hostels in Rio de Janeiro to be booked up months in advance of the start of World Cup 2014, and can also expect to see sharp rises in the price of flights to Rio de Janeiro as the Cup draws closer.
Rio is one of 12 Brazilian cities hosting matches during the World Cup 2014 , and the city’s legendary Maracana Stadium looks pretty much a sure thing to host the final of the tournament. The stadium is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar revamp, and its spectacular setting, surrounded by towering jungle-clad hills, makes any match here a memorable occasion. Factor in the wild enthusiasm of the local supporters, and you have memories to last a lifetime. If, as everybody hopes, Brazil reaches the final, fans can expect a sporting spectacular like no other anywhere on earth.
The other host cities for the 2014 World Cup are pleasant, unassuming Belo Horizonte, in the interior; Brasilia, the country’s modern capital; festive Cuiaba, where traditional music and dancing abound; tranquil Curitiba to the south; hot, sticky Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon; sun-baked Natal, Salvador and Recife in the north; and the cosmopolitan megalopolis that is Sao Paulo.
While there’s no doubting that the others have their charms, none can lay claim to Rio’s glamour, and few sports fans will want to miss the opportunity to experience this magical city in the midst of a full on football frenzy. Word to the wise – prices in Rio are steep and getting steeper, so start saving now if you want to be at the Maracana for the final of the FIFA World Cup 2014.