Soccer fans world over are ecstatic now. The FIFA World Cup 2014 fever has started gripping the fans. Preparations are afoot to catch some exciting moments at the world’s most prestigious soccer tournament. Brazil’s key city Sao Paulo is all set to welcome the frenzied visitors. Apart from Sao Paulo, other Brazilian cities such as Porto Allegre, Natal, Manaus, Curitiba, Cuiaba, Salvador, Recife, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza and Belo Horizonte will also be hosting the world cup matches.
Birthplace of Brazilian Football
Sao Paulo is famous world over as the birthplace of Brazilian football. Charles Miller, a British descendent, was the first to have introduced this beautiful game in Sao Paulo in 1894. He also made extensive efforts to promote football throughout Brazil.
Sao Paulo is presently home to three most powerful football clubs in the country. These clubs include Corinthians, Palmeiras and Sao Paulo. The two clubs – Palmeiras and Sao Paulo – have together achieved a remarkable feat of winning 14 Campeonato Brasileiro titles. The FIFA World Cup trophy was won by Corinthians and Sao Paulo in 2000 and 2005 respectively. Apart from the three powerful clubs, Sao Paulo is also home to other traditional clubs such as Juventus and Portuguesa de Desportos.
Morumbi is the biggest stadium in Sao Paulo. It has been home ground of Sao Paulo football club. The stadium has been among the venues of the maiden FIFA Club World Cub in 2000. An amazing Football Museum is housed at the city-owned Pacaembu stadium, where 6 matches at FIFA World Cup Brazil in 1950. The Palmeiras football club has its home ground at the Palestra Italia stadium.
2014 FIFA World Cup matches in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo will be hosting the opening match. The visitors to Sao Paulo will also be able to catch other actions as well. Here is a line-up of world cup soccer matches to be played in the city. These matches include Brazil vs. Croatia (June 12), Uruguay vs. England (June 19), Netherlands vs. Chile (June 23), South Korea vs. Belgium (July 26). The second round will see the city hosting the match on July 1 between Winner of Group F vs. Runner-up of Group E. The semi-final will also be held in the city on July 9 during which the third winner of quarter-final will clash with the fourth winner of quarter-final.
The world cup soccer matches in Sao Paulo will be held in the newly-built stadium Arena Sao Paulo. The stadium has the capacity to accommodate 48,000 spectators. The stadium will be hosting the opening match. According to FIFA regulations, the stadium which holds the opening match must have the minimum capacity to hold 65,000 spectators. The new stadium will therefore be adding 20,000 extra removable seats to accommodate the soccer fans. The stadium will also be featuring 89 luxury boxes, 10,000 VIP seats and 6,000 second tier covered seats.
The new stadium Arena Sao Paulo, which is also called Arena Corinthians, will as well be the home stadium for the Corinthians. Apart from hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening match, the Arena Sao Paulo will also be hosting five different matches, including one semi-final.
The Arena Sao Paulo is situated in Sao Paulo’s eastern part in the Itaquera area. The stadium is only 17 km from Downtown Sao Paulo and can be reached through 61 bus routes. The stadium is also well connected to the city centre through Metro Line 3. Plenty of options will be available for the soccer fans to reach the stadium and enjoy live matches there.
Where to Stay and Eat in Sao Paulo
When visiting Sao Paulo for watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the prime concern for most football fans from foreign countries is about suitable places to eat and stay in the city. The Arena Corinthians, where the matches are to be held, is situated in the working class area of Itaquera. There are no hotels nearby the stadium. However, the city has plenty of accommodations options available. Most of the high end hotels are situated in the areas west of Downtown Sao Paulo. These areas include Itaim Bibi, Villa Olimpia or Jardins (Avenida Paulista) areas. For those who want cheaper accommodations, the city centre or Centro is the best place to explore.
Football fans visiting the city will also get delighted with a number of restaurants and cafes here. Head to Bar do Juarez to enjoy a good beer and delicious food such as the traditional feijoada and steak. Beco de Barto is the best place for you to relax before or after visiting the stadium. This excellent bar and restaurant offers the best beer and delectable menu options such as feijoada, meats and pasta.
Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, is a traveler’s paradise. The city offers plenty of attractions and amenities for the tourists. While enjoying the matches, you can also spend some time visiting the prominent attractions such as Museu Paulista or Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo.