The 2014 World Cup starts tomorrow in Brazil. And the world will be watching. In the run-up to kickoff (Brazil vs. Croatia is the first game), excitement builds, and stories continue to swirl around the soccer world. No games have been played, but there’s lots of news coming out of Brazil, as the world gets ready.
To keep you on top of the game, here are five things you missed at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this week.
1. Players Abstaining From Sex
It’s not uncommon for players to abstain from sex during the World Cup. Such an approach to important games has happened across all sports for years. The information just generally isn’t public. But this year, it seems to be everyone’s business.
Mexico has reported that its players will abstain. The Bosnians are only allowed to hang out with teammates; in other words, no outings with potential partners are allowed. However, US Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has said publicly that his players are not being told to abstain. Basically, the Americans are free to do as they will.
2. Mexican Midfielder Hurt
USA rival Mexico lost one of its best midfielders, Luis Montes, last Saturday in a friendly match against Ecuador. Mexico won the match 3-1 in a hard-fought battle. Montes started the scoring with a stupendous shot from outside of the penalty box. However, minutes later, Montes went down in a bad collision with Ecuadorian player Segundo Castillo, braking his leg below the knee. The injury will force Montes to miss the World Cup and leaves Mexico with a huge hole to fill in its roster.
3. Stadiums Are Not Complete
With the World Cup about to start, some of the stadiums aren’t completely finished and others are still being updated. Amazonia Arena, site of the England-Italy game this weekend, is still under construction. The Guardian noted “naked power cables dangling from the walls of the changing rooms” and a field that didn’t appear ready for an actual game. Some stadiums still lack some of the details one would expect in a fully functional World Cup venue. Arena Corinthians, site of the inaugural game between Brazil and Croatia, drew criticism from Brazilian spectators at a test match last week. Attendees noticed some seats were still not installed and parts of the snack bars were still under construction. These sorts of problems are common as Brazil frantically readies itself for kickoff.
4. Price Shock For Visitors
In a country where a dollar or euro stretches quite a bit, a trip to the World Cup is not cheap. It has been reported that prices have increased in designated tourist spots in anticipation of World Cup spectators. Rio de Janeiro has raised its prices to almost ridiculous levels, taking away from that feeling of paradise Brazil likes to put forward. A pizza can cost up to $35 and a cheeseburger can cost $17, for example. Hotel prices seem to be similarly inflated.
5. USMNT Ranked 13th
The best news out of Brazil for the World Cup this week involves the United States Men’s National Team. The US moved up a spot in the FIFA World Rankings to No. 13 overal. This new rank, while not exactly a good luck number, is still promising for American fans. It shows that the US is getting better.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web-based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.