Monthly Archives: February 2014
For Muslims, Mecca is a place not only for pilgrimage but a place to reflect.
For Christians, a visit to Lourdes is an opportunity to see the miracles of the Lady.
Yesterday I visited the Mecca and the Lourdes for football fans across the world. Where the “Hand of God” played. Where Pele showed his dexterity and skills. Where every footballer wants to make a mark. Where every football fan wants to sit. The Maracana.
I have been to football games all over the UK, but never have I experienced an atmosphere like I did at the Maracana. We went to see Flamengo’s play against Emelec in a Copa Libertadores match (The South American version of the champions league), And wow was it an amazing game. The passion that flows through the stadium is almost palatable and the love with which the fans chant makes it an electrifying experience. It is simply awesome. I remember after Flamego’s had scored their second goal a random sweaty man just giving me the biggest hug I had ever received. I think that summarises the passion of these fans. Never was there a quiet moment in the stadium. Just cheers, chants and roars.
Sports brings the people of this country together and football is used as a way for two people to connect with each other. It is obvious that the language of football is universal. Fans share this universal language that is not bound by culture or by personalities just skill, dexterity and passion. As I sat in the stadium, probably the only Muslim for miles around and with only a few fellow Englishmen, I did not feel alone. We football fans are a legion and this sport is perhaps the only thing we have in common.I am sure that’s why FIFA are bringing the World Cup to this nation of fans whose commitment to football is second to none.
My time in Rio is coming to an end, with under a week left I feel it’s time to reflect on my time I have spent in this amazing city. So therefore I’ve decided to write this blog – 5 things that have inspired me by living in Rio De Janeiro.
Firstly, I’d like to apologise to all my reader for the lack of a blog over the past few days. I had come down with a nasty throat infection which had got me down a bit. Thankfully I’m recovering well and hopefully hope to be back on my surfboard tomorrow.
When I mentioned to all my friends and family that I was coming alone to Rio for 4 weeks, It was received with a shock reaction.
“You will be mugged”
“Aren’t you scared that you’ll be shot and your body dumped on the side-walk”
I could go on and on about misconceptions people have about Rio de Janeiro. I have therefore written this blog hoping it’ll debunk the myth that Rio is a dangerous city.
For those of you who know me I’m not very good at waking up and I’m usually the last person to be up and about. Yesterday I woke up to what I thought was Gun Fire. I was literally scared for my life. All the horror stories about living in the Favela flashed through my mind. Until after 5 minutes of continuous “Banging” noises did I realise it was fireworks. LOL. Jeeze, living in a favela really does make you paranoid. :p