soccer

Mashable

RIO DE JANEIRO – Well, that was that. Brazilians had been hungry to host another World Cup final in Rio’s historic Maracanã stadium since 1950, and although in the end things didn’t go to plan on the pitch, many have praised the country’s enthusiasm, hospitality and what turned out to be a dramatic and unforgettable World Cup.

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Anadolu Agency – additional reporting by Lucy Jordan in Brasília

RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s 2014 World Cup campaign came to a bitterly disappointing end on Saturday as the Netherlands put three goals past the home team to win a playoff for third place – giving the hosts a second consecutive defeat and leaving them fourth overall in the competition.

Hopes had not been high as the historic five-time champions went head-to-head with a skilful Dutch side, which have never won a World Cup.

The 3-0 defeat to the Dutch at the Mané Garrincha stadium in the Brazilian capital, Brasília, was not on the scale of their worst-ever 7-1 semifinal loss against Germany, but after all the excitement of hosting the tournament for the first time in 64 years, Saturday’s result means that this is be a World Cup that Brazilians will want to consign to the history books.

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Anadolu Agency

SAO PAULO (AA) – Brazil’s World Cup “golden boy” and rising star, Neymar, has again been ruled out of Tuesday’s crunch semifinal World Cup clash against Germany and the rest of the tournament, local media quoted his medical team as saying on Monday.

Hopes were raised after Neymar announced that he still wanted to play in a potential final match in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium Sunday.

But doctors say his third vertebra – fractured when Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zúñiga kneed the Brazilian forward in the back during Friday’s quarterfinal game – needs at least six weeks’ rest.

Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has been putting three members of the national team to the test – Willian, Paulinho and Bernard – all vying for Neymar’s spot, local media reported on Monday from the team’s training ground north of Rio de Janeiro.

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Anadolu Agency – by Steffen Stubager & Asger Mow, additional reporting and editing by Ben Tavener

RIO DE JANEIRO – Hundreds of football fans in Brazil for the World Cup are refusing to pay sky-high accommodation prices and instead are opting to sleep rough during the key sporting event.

In Rio de Janeiro, football fans from all over the world can be seen sleeping in the main bus station and on the city’s famous beaches, where temperatures have tumbled to 15°C at night and rain has been a regular feature.

Fans, including many from Argentina, Colombia and Chile, have come to Brazil for weeks in some cases without booking any accommodation and, for most, the risk is directly linked to hotels inflating prices during the World Cup.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – With just a day to go, São Paulo is bracing itself for Thursday’s World Cup opening ceremony and first match of the tournament between hosts Brazil and Croatia.

The 25-minute opening ceremony will showcase the host nation’s “treasures: nature, people, football,” its Belgian artistic director Daphne Cornez was quoted by local media as saying.

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Anadolu Agency

ITAQUERA, SÃO PAULO – A second final test was held on Sunday at the São Paulo stadium that will host the opening match of the World Cup on 12 June.

World Cup organisers FIFA had called for a second public test after the first, held two weeks ago, was not able to test the two temporary stands – each capable of holding 10,000 fans, bumping the stadium’s 48,000-spectator capacity to 68,000 for the World Cup.

However, Sunday’s second and last public test – a clash between Corinthians and Botafogo football clubs, which ended in a disappointing draw for the host side – drew only 40,000 fans, and only one of the two temporary stands was partially tested.

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