September 9, 2014
Mike Collett – Reuters, 09/08/2014
FIFA president Sepp Blatter always believed this year’s World Cup would not be affected by the civil disturbances that blighted the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil and he said he was delighted his prediction came true.
Blatter, 78, described the tournament on Monday as “great” and the “best World Cup” he had been involved in during an interview recorded for delegates at the Soccerex Global convention.
“It was, in my opinion, the best World Cup I have ever seen in the terms of quality of the football and the ambience it created in all the cities, in all the stadia .. Really it went under the skin,” he said.
August 28, 2014
Bill Faries – Bloomberg, 8/28/2014
American enthusiasm for soccer’s World Cup prompted Brazil to shift more of its advertising toward the U.S. ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the head of Brazil’s tourism agency Embratur said.
U.S. citizens represented just over 10 percent of the 1.04 million foreign visitors to Brazil during the month long tournament that ended July 13, Embratur President Vicente Neto said in an interview. That made the U.S. the second-biggest source of foreign fans after neighboring Argentina, whose team made it to the final against Germany.
“It exceeded all our expectations,” Neto said in Miami last week. “We’re expecting that to be the same with the Olympics, given the U.S. history and participation in the Games.”
July 21, 2014
Mimi Whitefield – Miami Herald, 7/19/2014
Brazil has barely said tchau to the World Cup, but it has no time for a breather. In two years, Rio de Janeiro will be throwing out a welcome mat to the world as host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Only three countries — the United States, the former West Germany and Mexico — have had such a short turnaround between hosting duties for the two biggest sports events on the planet. In the 1930s, however, both the United States and Germany hosted summer and winter Olympics in the same year.
Despite misgivings about everything from security to transportation to whether stadiums would be finished on time, Brazil managed to pull off a successful FIFA World Cup. That’s a positive omen for the Aug. 5-21, 2016 Olympics and Sept. 7-18 Paralympics.
July 17, 2014
Talia Marcopoto – CNN, 7/16/2014
Brazil’s national football team may have been smoked on the pitch by Germany, but now government officials are claiming a 2014 FIFA World Cup victory of another sort.
According to figures released this week by Brazil’s federal government, the World Cup was a triumph for the country’s transportation and tourism industries.
“We lost the trophy, but Brazil won the World Cup,” said Aloisio Mercadante, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff, in a statement.
July 15, 2014
Kevin Baxter and Vincent Bevins – Los Angeles Times, 7/14/2014
As the last of the World Cup visitors headed for the airports Monday, Brazilians began to reclaim the pristine beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema while traffic in Sao Paulo returned to its regular weekday snarl and the seaside hotels in Salvador, Recife and Natal emptied.
After seven years of planning and 31 days of competition, the most expensive soccer tournament in history is over. And the dire predictions that street demonstrations, massive transportation breakdowns and construction delays would disrupt the event proved unfounded, with Brazil’s tournament ranking among the most successful in World Cup history.
“We’ve eliminated the doubts of all who didn’t believe in us,” President Dilma Rousseff told a gathering of foreign journalists.
July 15, 2014
Graham Dunbar – ABC News, 7/14/2014
Brazil got 9.25 out of 10 from FIFA President Sepp Blatter for organizing a World Cup that was “very special” because of high quality football.
Giving his tournament report on Monday, Blatter also criticized the organization he heads for not better tackling incidents of fan discrimination in stadiums.
Blatter said he spoke with Russia President Vladimir Putin at Sunday’s final about making the issue a priority at the 2018 World Cup there.
July 14, 2014
Larisa Epatko – PBS Newshour, 7/11/2014
The FIFA World Cup, which ends Sunday, has been a rollercoaster ride for Brazilians and no less so for the government.
When Brazil was playing well and advancing, President Dilma Rousseff rode the wave, visibly supporting the team and the tournament.
After Brazilian soccer star — known to fans simply by his first name Neymar — hurt his back during a match, taking him out of the rest of the tournament, Rousseff called him a “warrior” in a public letter of encouragement.