World Cup final: Germany defeats Argentina…

By James Masters,CNN;July 14, 2014 — Updated 1049 GMT (1849 HKT)

(CNN) — Never bet against Germany.

In a world where so much can change so quickly, perhaps it is reassuring that there is one constant which remains.
The nation which had ripped Brazil’s dreams to shreds in the semifinals, won its fourth World Cup after a tense 1-0 victory over Argentina Sunday.

Mario Gotze’s strike, seven minutes from the end of extra time, ensured Germany ended its 24-year wait for glory at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.

For all the doubters who said that no European side would or could ever win the World Cup on South American soil, there was one team which refused to listen.

Lazy stereotypes often abound when describing German football.

The words ‘organized’, ‘ruthless’ or ‘machine’ are bandied about along with that other cliché, ‘efficient.’

To use those words to describe this German side would not only do it a disservice — it would ignore the wonderful talent which passes through the veins of each and every player.

Germany has long threatened to rule the world.

In 2006, it came close, bowing out at the semifinal stage after a painful defeat by Italy in a tournament held in its own country.

Two years later, it was beaten in the final of the European Championships by Spain before the same opposition ended its World Cup dream in South Africa. (Read the remainder of this article at:

Germany erupts with joy …

By Euan McKirdy, CNN
July 15, 2014 — Updated 1132 GMT (1932 HKT)

(CNN) — In a twist of fate, the hosts’ vanquishers became the heroes. Germany’s Mario Götze’s late, late strike made the difference in the final against Argentina, and his sublime goal prevented Brazil’s neighbors and arch-rivals from lifting the trophy.

The two finalists played out an entertaining match that left both the teams’ fans and neutrals on the edge of their seats until almost the last kick of the game. Ultimately, all it lacked was the goals that these Brazil crowds have come to expect.

Huge street party

The German capital came alive at the final whistle, with cars taking to the packed streets, waving German flags and scarves. Up to 500,000 fans packed into the huge fan zone in the center of the city, which was extended to 1.3 kilometer from the city’s iconic Brandenburg Gate to accommodate the throngs of expectant fans.

The city, whose mood wasn’t dampened by the rain that fell throughout the match, hosted fans from all over the country, and beyond.

The crowd in the Mitte district of Berlin erupted as Götze’s goal went in on the 113th minute. The Bayern Munich star took Andre Schürrle’s pass on his chest before displaying exquisite technique to volley the ball past Sergio Romero.

The raucous street parties that followed were intermittently interrupted by celebratory car horns. It is the country’s fourth World Cup, and its first as a unified Germany.

Fans in the capital told CNN that they planned to party well into the early hours of the morning.

Traveling fans celebrate in Rio

Outside Rio de Janerio’s famous stadium, German fans were equally delirious.

“I feel very, very good, this is the best day of my life,” a exuberant fan named Lars told CNN outside the stadium. “We say before the Maracana, this is an amazing place, but I must say this is a fantastic day for my whole life.” (Read the remainder of this article at:

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World Cup: Brazil fails to shine against Mexico

By James Masters, CNN;  June 17, 2014 — Updated 2137 GMT (0537 HKT

(CNN) — Brazil’s World Cup has been a carnival of color — but this was a monochrome affair in Fortaleza.

A dour goalless draw against Mexico is unlikely to prevent the host nation from qualifying for the next stage but this game will soon be forgotten.

Even with Neymar at the helm, the face of Brazil’s World Cup challenge, it rarely looked like finding a way past a determined and stubborn Mexican side.
And when Brazil did managed to create a chance, it found Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in irrepressible form.

“There was a chance here, a chance there, it was very tight,” Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari told reporters.

“It wasn’t a question of us evolving or not (from the last game). We’ve been playing this way for 20 games, we are up against good teams, we need to understand that.

“It wasn’t a good result, a victory would have qualified us. We need to respect other teams.”

After the thrilling excitement of the last week’s 3-1 win over Croatia, those packed into the stadium in Fortaleza may have expected another action-packed affair.
Instead, what transpired was a rather turgid affair as Brazil failed to find the fluency which eventually put Croatia to the sword in Sao Paulo.

See the remainder of this article at:

Brazil tackling child prostitution for World Cup

By Shasta Darlington, CNN April 2, 2014 — Updated 0624 GMT (1424 HKT)

Fortaleza, Brazil (CNN) — The newly-renovated Castelao football stadium looms into sight up ahead. Driving just past it, we see women standing on street corners, leaning into cars and flashing nearly naked bodies in the low light.

We’re in Fortaleza in the northeastern corner of Brazil, one of the World Cup host cities but also known as a magnet for sex tourism.

Prostitution is legal in Brazil for those 18 or older, but government and soccer officials are trying stto crack down on the child sex trade before the tournament kicks off in June.

Antonio Carlos da Silva, a social worker with O Pequeno Nazareno, says the prostitutes around the stadium now cater to truckers but dream about big bucks from visiting fans.

“Ever since Brazil was selected to host the World Cup in 2014, it created these huge expectations,” he says as we drive down a darkened avenue.

“The girls keep asking me “where can I take English classes so I can get more clients?””

We pull up to chat with Taina, an 18-year-old transsexual who has been working the streets since she was a minor. “Sometimes people want trannies, sometimes they want girls,” she says.

Hiding down side streets

She says that child prostitutes hide down side streets or behind bus stops.

According to critics, officials have pushed the child sex trade out of sight, but haven’t done enough to eradicate its root causes. They warn underage prostitution could explode during the World Cup.

“These girls come from extreme poverty, a culture of social exclusion and a tradition of profound disrespect for women,” says Antonia Lima Sousa, a state prosecutor.

She says the desperation is so great, some parents even put their own children on the street.

But there is also a serious problem with organized crime.

“It involves a whole tourism network, from agencies to hotels to taxis,” she says. “With these mega events, sexual exploitation is also going to be organized much more via the Internet.”

Despite promises to eradicate child prostitution, the number of estimated child sex workers in Brazil stood at about half a million in 2012, according to the non-profit National Forum for the Prevention of Child Labor.

Soccer & World Cup 2014

Neymar 2014 – Goals, Skills, Assists HD by Ronaldo 7dotNET

To begin, have a look (above) at what you will be enjoying during your trip to Brazil this June 2014. From the fancy footwork and skill of Neymar, to Oscar dos Santos, William Borges and others.  Enjoy!  But do read on.  We have so much more to share.

One thing I can say, no matter the league, or division, soccer is of a very high standard in Brazil and it is enjoyed Final.Stadiumby young and old, male and female.  This sport is what makes Brazil the world-wide winner in the sport.  There are a number of soccer clubs in Sao Paulo, however whenever Sao Paulo Soccer Club (supposedly the wealthy Brazilians) played the Corinthians (pronounced Cor-in-chins – the Brazilian poor) it is the game of the month.  Everything stops in this large city and all eyes are on the television.  Whie pizza shops on every corner busy themselves making and delivering pizzas of all kinds – with such tasty selections as olives,  pineapple, calabresa (an Italian pork sausage), various types of cheeses etc., the fans are scurrying about and setting off firecrackers throughout our neighborhood in Vila Marianna when their favorite team scores a goal.  The competition is “HOT!” (I speak in the present because I know that although I have left Sao Paulo, it is still that way today and will remain so for years to come. 

I have always sided with the underdogs, the ‘Corichins’ although my team was the team Pelé played for, instadium Santos.  Believe me when I tell you, I witnessed the best soccer I have ever seen.  Soccer is played in my country today, however, when gangs patrolled the field and people started to get hurt, it took the fun out of going to a soccer game.  This is not to say that going to a soccer game in Brazil is safe, because they get very emotional when their team is losing.  I have learned many a curse word which is hurled out to the referees and the opposing side by women, children, men or whoever feels that an unfair call has been made.

World Cup 2014

To those persons who are planning to go to World Cup games, apply to: for tickets. Please make note of the fact that there is a specific method to ordering tickets for those who live outside of Brazil.  If you are going to attend, for your information, over 2 million tickets have already been distributed to fans so time is passing and you need to purchase your tickets as soon as possible so that you will not miss out on some of the finest soccer to be seen anywhere in the world.  Once again, I will warn you that getting tickets is a process in itself.  To my knowledge, you have to apply to the Brazilian government to get tickets.  You just cannot go to Brazil and scurry up to a window where the games are to be held and buy a ticket.  If you click on the above referenced FIFA website, you will get all of the required forms needed to apply for your tickets and you will also be able to choose your seats. BUT, this is not a once off process as you will see.  Nothing in Brazil is instant.  EVERYTHING takes time.  If it takes 10 minutes for you to get something done in Bermuda or in the U.S., you’ll be guaranteed that it will take an hour or more, even days in Brazil.  That’s just the way it is folks.  Get it in your head now and be thankful if you are able to accomplish anything in record time.  That’s rare.

In terms of safety, it is always best to get friendly with the staff in your hotel, bed and breakfast, hostel etc. and ask as many questions as you need answered.  Remember, you are not going to find many Brazilians who can answer your questions.  On a few occasions, I actually asked the crowd around me, “Is there anyone here who speaks English!”  Fortunately the odd person would offer to assist.  Sometimes it worked and other times it didn’t.  Remember, you should never put your purse or backpack on the floor and you cannot turn your back on your purse for a minute.  Folks, you will be going into an atmosphere similar to any other large city.  Govern yourselves accordingly.  Take minimal cash.  And yes, remember certain items are not permitted into the games, so ask before you leave where you are staying, what items are permissible and what items are not.  Umbrellas for example are not permitted into most venues. 

Brazilian Weather can be unpredictable.  Remember they are in the summer season now but during the World Final.Soccer WeatherCup, they will be in Autumn,  (Fall) and Winter.  Oh yes, their seasons are the opposite of those in the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean.  The  weather can be very unpredictable.  Their seasons are as follows:

Spring:    22nd September – 21st December
ummer: 22nd December – 21st March
Autumn:  22nd M
arch – 21st June
Winter:   22nd June – 21st September

I have experienced three different seasons in one day, so do NOT underestimate the weather there.  It could be sunny one minute and storming, rainy and cold the next.  So make sure you take the proper attire and enjoy the games.