An Arsenal Fan’s Guide To Brazil 2014

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 07 It’s been a season to remember so far for Arsenal fans. Arsene Wenger’s men are still well in the title race, and overwhelming favourites to lift the FA Cup at Wembley on May 17. But for some Gunners fans, the party won’t stop there with touchdown in Rio for the FIFA World Cup just around the corner. Brazil 2014 is expected to be one of the most hotly contested tournaments of all time with the hosts, Argentina, Spain, Germany, and even Thomas Vermaelen’s Belgium tipped to do well at the tournament. And of course for England, and their travelling supporters it’s a chance to enjoy some sun, and the country’s truly unique atmosphere. All 51,000 of the Three Lions allocated tickets have been snapped up as the England Supporters Band aims to provide a backing track to the samba beat that will be running right through the heart of Brazil. For Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere, that’ll begin when they face Italy in Manaus, over 2,700 miles from basecamp in the vibrant and lively, Rio de Janeiro. The Copacabana city is likely to be a hive of activity and is no stranger to major events. The 1950 World Cup christened the infamous Maracana stadium, whilst England’s team hotel throughout the month, The Royal Tulip, adds a carnival twist to the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP) each year. It will be here that provides a good place to settle. With only a 45 minute flight to Sao Paulo for England’s tie with Uruguay, and not much further to the Estadio Mineirao for their final group fixture, the south east city lies perfectly for a tournament of excitement and relatively easy travelling. For most fans making the trip to the World Cup, the chance to sample Rio’s one-of-a-kind lifestyle will be the driving force behind choosing where to stay and it’s likely the fan park on Copacabana beach will bring fans of all countries together in a way only the South American nation can. A trip to the Maracana is a must for most. Aside from Wembley it’s the mecca of world football, and the chance to walk the corridors where Ronaldo, Zico, and Pele have tread will give you as many goose bumps as the dancing girls that will bring the city at night to life. There’s a good chance it won’t be a long trip this summer, Roy’s Boys could crash out in the Group Stage. Italy, and Uruguay will provide tough opposition but should the Ox help power England through to the next round, it could be an extra few days in Rio for the Second Round against Colombia or Ivory Coast. Penalties anyone?

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