Going to a World Cup game in Rio de Janeiro

 

 Gearing up

Gearing up

Thanks to a blog reader/friend, a ticket to the France-Equador game was acquired, at a reasonable price (considering).

And so, your blogger took a free subway ride yesterday (for game attendees), and got out at the São Cristóvão station, as it was closest to the gate nearest our seats. Game tickets were being sold, illegally (and you can be arrested, if caught) at the bottom of the metro stairway, for as “little” as 600 reais.

Six or seven police checkpoints

Six or seven police checkpoints

Police almost everywhere

Police almost everywhere

At last!

At last!

Metal detectors and all

Metal detectors and all

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Outdoor view ignored by most

Then came a long walk on a highway overpass and through six or seven police checkpoints, where all you had to do was wave your very expensive ticket. But first, free face-painting was in order, with stripes in red, white and blue —  yellow, red and blue. And lots of posing for pictures, in an atmosphere like Carnival, without the music.

Long lines for food and drink

Long lines for food and drink

Then a security check, then a walk up several ramps, to the rest room and concessionaire area. FIFA’s alcohol limitations (resulting in long lines) conspired to keep consumption to a minimum, forcing spectators to focus on the game.

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Which in this case, was far from exciting. Still, it’s an unforgettable experience to sit in a jam-packed Maracanã, the crowd in opposing colours, chanting either Allez les bleus or Se puede, sí!, and watch those tiny figures desperately trying to make a goal (and the Ecuadorian goalie being impressively heroic), in the newly-renovated stadium which somehow, despite temperate weather outside, was suffocating.

National anthem

National anthem

Back and forth

Back and forth

lll

Magic

dff

The minority

fff

The majority

gg

More than 73,000 attendees

Once the game was over, as we waited for the crowds to clear, a saviour appeared in the form of an ice-cream seller. The R$12 real price was worth every centavo.

A pit stop on the way out proved the bathrooms to be hospitable and clean. In the strangely mirror-less sink (security hazard?), a couple of American women were washing, with great determination, their hoard of FIFA-decorated beverage cups. Which brought to mind the advertising that appeared at one point on the side boards: “FIFA develops football for all”.

“Sounds like The Truman Show”, commented a fellow spectator. And it really was impossible, at least for him and for this blogger, to wholly forget the dark side of the 2014 World Cup. Perhaps a goal or two would have helped. Final score: 0-0, with Ecuador shipping out.

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It worked, though the number of cars meant long stops between stations

A happy volunteer

A happy volunteer

No hard feelings

No hard feelings

 

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About Rio real

American journalist, writer, editor who's lived in Rio de Janeiro almost 20 years.
This entry was posted in Brazil, Transformation of Rio de Janeiro / Transformação do Rio de Janeiro and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Going to a World Cup game in Rio de Janeiro

  1. tropicalsmog says:

    Great photos. Did you have a problem getting food at the stadium? They reported a number of stadiums quickly ran out of food and water (but had plenty of beer).

    • Rio real says:

      Thanks. I had a nice lunch before, so didn’t look for food. But there were long lines out there, for everything. It was very hot and at one point I so craved water– but didn’t want to miss a second of the game. My friends were kind enough to get me some!

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