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2014 FIFA World Cup

Planet Sport - Destination Rio!

Monday 14 July: Today's programme comes from the Copacabana beach as we look back at Germany's win over Argentina in the final. We speak to fans of both teams, and talk to Brazil supporters about a World Cup that started with so much hope for them but ended with their team in crisis. Also we look back at our most memorable moments of the 2014 World Cup. 


Previous episodes.....

The end of the World Cup road

I cannot believe it is over.

dsc01160It doesn’t seem like it but after 30 shows (I think) of Planet Sport Destination Rio we have come to the end of this magical World Cup.

Myself and Tommy have had the pleasure of producing the Taste of Rio features which hopefully saw us go a little bit more in depth than your average tourist here in the ‘marvellous city’.

The whole experience has been a highlight but since we did a top five halfway through the schedule it seems fitting I should do my top ten moments here in Rio. Read more here. . . 

 How will the 2014 World Cup be remembered?

by Stuart Weir 

germany win 2014 wc

I am old enough to remember 15 World Cups. 

Some stand out for outstanding football reasons like the emergence on the world stage of the 17 year old Pele in 1958 or Zinadine Zidane driving France to their only World Cup triumph in 1998. Others, sadly stick in the memory more for negative reasons – Zidane’s head-butt (2006) or Maradona’s “hand of god” goal in 1986.

I believe that 2014 World Cup will be remembered for many good things.  Just as people still talk about that Austria beating Switzerland 7-5 in 1954, I believe that Germany’s 7-1 semi-final win over hosts Brazil will be remembered for a long time.

Not just for the convincing win but for for that 6 minute spell in which Germany scored three goals to put them 5-0 up. Has there even been a more decisive six minutes in the history of the World Cup? Read more here. . . 

 Who will win the World Cup? 

by Stuart Weir 

Maracana stadium

I have been privileged to have been in the stadium to see both Germany and Argentina during the 2014 world cup. 

I saw Germany beat France in the quarter-final.  The score was only 1-0 but the Germans controlled the game, stopped the French from playing and won. 

It was typical German efficiency. I saw Argentina beat Bosnia. 

The game was close and I felt that Bosnia matched Argentina until a moment of magic by Messi produced the decisive goal.  On the basis of those two performances I would have to go for Germany. Read more. . . . 

 Futsal in the community 

One thing that has become evident during my time in Rio de Janeiro so far is football is everything over here.

On Thursday night I was at a futsal project near Morros dos Macacos (one of Rio’s low income communities) run by one of the Methodist churches in the area Metodista da Vila Isabel.

I asked one of the coaches how popular this project is in the community. His answer was not in the least bit surprising. Read more. . . 


 Not like watching Brazil 

by Stuart Weir 

“Just like watching Brazil” is a common chant by football crowds to compliment their team. 

The problem is that at the 2014 World Cup, watching Brazil, is not like watching Brazil. For those of us brought up on the free-flowing football of the 1970 World Cup winning team of Carlos Alberto, Jairzinho, Gerson, Rivelino and Pele, the 2014 Brazilians look pretty ordinary.

Neymar is the talisman of the 2014 team.  But when he blatantly elbowed a Croatian player in the face in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup, he lost a lot of respect. Read more. . . 


 A visit to Bangu prison 

As we approached Bangu Prison on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro I could see this was a big place.

“How many people are here?” I asked.

“Around 80,000 prisoners,” was the reply. Bangu was not just a ‘big place’ this was basically a prison city.

Myself and Tommy were being taken to the prison by Luke Simone, a volunteer who works with young offenders at Bangu and lives in Rio de Janeiro. Read more. . . 

 World Cup 2014: The semi finals 


By Stuart Weir 

After 4 weeks of the 2014 World Cup, we are down to the last four.  The two semi-finals are:

Brazil v Germany; 

Argentina v Netherlands.

It could not have worked out better.  Two European countries and two South American countries.  Europe v South America in both semi-finals leaving open the tantalizing prospect of an all European final, an all South American final and a game between one country from each continent.

The four countries have pedigree. Brazil has won the World Cup five times, Argentina twice.  Germany has twice won the World Cup – West Germany if you wish to be pedantic. Netherlands have never won the World Cup but having lost in three finals are due a win. Read more. . . 

 Flying high in Rio de Janeiro 

My head has been in the clouds this week as I continued to see why Rio de Janeiro is labelled as the marvellous city.

Over the past seven days I have been lucky enough to go up Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado (Christ Redeemer) and climb to Rio’s second highest peak.

All three landmarks were fantastic with each giving me a different view of the city. Read more. . . 


 The fight against sex exploitation in Rio 

bolaWhat was I up to when I was five years old?

I was in my early years at school, I rode my bike around the park with mum and dad at the weekends, built things out of Lego, watched kids TV and played football in the garden.

Most of these are probably what a lot of us did at five years of age.

Some kids however are living a very different reality, especially here in Rio de Janeiro. Read more . . . 

 Matchday at the Maracana 

colombia4I have never watched an international game live before.

So to make my international debut at the Maracana during the World Cup was as good an introduction as I could have hoped for.

I was fortunate enough to watch Colombia take on World Cup bad boys Uruguay in the second round of the tournament, the knockout phase. Read more . . . 

 The World Cup so far

By Stuart Weir 

So, amazingly we have reached the end of the first phase of the FIFA World Cup. The original 32 countries have been reduced to 16. The upshot is the following eight games in the first knock-out round.


Brazil v Chile

Netherlands v Mexico

Colombia v Uruguay

Costa Rica v Greece

France v Nigeria

Argentina v Switzerland

Germany v Algeria

Belgium v USA

There is an intriguing geographical balance with six countries from Europe, five from South America, five from South America, three from North/Central America and two from Africa.  Read more. . . . 

 Half Time: A Taste of Rio 

CorcovadoSo today is show 15 for Planet Sport - Destination Rio which marks the half way stage during our time here in Rio de Janeiro.

Most of us have almost been here a month now but it still seems we are scratching the surface of this fascinating city.

Myself and Tommy, who are producing the Taste of Rio features, are trying to gain an insight into what makes this city tick from the good to the bad to the ugly.

From Copacabana beach to the City of God one thing we can say at this half way stage is the people of Rio have been nothing short of brilliant. Read more. . .  

 Futevolei with Dunga 

“Me and Dunga were certainly on the same wavelength today, we were basically reading each other’s minds.”

This was my colleague Tommy waxing lyrical about Dunga. Unfortunately this was not THE World Cup winning Dunga but a slightly less famous one.

This was Dunga, a coach who was putting me and Tommy through our paces at futevolei, one of Brazil’s most popular past times. Read more. . .  

 futevolei 4

 Belgium v Russia at the Maracana 

Belgium are through to the next phase of the World Cup after beating Russia 1-0 at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro today. 

It was not a classic game by any stretch but the Planet Sport team were there to soak up the atmosphere and speak to fans before and after the match. 

See some pictures from the game below. 


 Bodyboarding in Rio

 web - 7 - 1Let me introduce you to Marcus Cal Kung, Rio de Janeiro’s king of the bodyboard.

Known down on Barra da Tijuca beach as Kungi, the former lawyer is viewed as the father of bodyboarding in Brazil having competed in three Pipe Masters (a big surfing competition) and won many others.

We thought it would be a shame not to meet Rio’s beach version of Mr Myagi (he looks a bit like him in my opinion) so myself and Tom slapped on the sun cream, put on our boardies, brushed up on our surfer slang and headed down to meet this legend.  More. . . . 

 Brazil v Mexico at Rio fan festival

Brazil fans are bonkers. Fact. I mean this in a good way of course.

Web 6 - 8Yesterday I was in Alzirao, Tijuca to watch Brazil’s 0-0 draw with Mexico but this was a viewing experience with a twist.

Last week I watched the host nation’s opening match against Croatia at the Copacabana fan fest which is put on by FIFA. 

 I won’t lie it was a fantastic experience and the atmosphere created by not just Brazilians but fans from around the world was electric.

But I wanted to try something more local, something which has Brazil and Rio at its heart. A bit more Rio and a bit less FIFA. I found the perfect place in the Alzirao fan site.   More. . .  

 City of God

The City of God, known as Cidade de Deus, is based outside central Rio de Janeiro on the other side of the Tijuca National Park and a few miles north of the lush beaches of Barra de Tijuca.

Blog 3 - 1

Many of you will probably recognise the name having watched the award winning film City of God directed by Fernando Meirelles which centres on the growth of crime in the town from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Since then it has been ‘pacified’ by the Brazilian authorities and now has more than 350 police roaming the streets to keep the crime rate under control. 

We were invited to the City of God by Nicholas Wheeler - a former journalist and now an Anglican priest who was inspired to work in the town after watching the film - to get an idea of what life in the town is like.

Here is my account of my visit to the Cidade de Deus.    More...

Maracana stadium - Argentina v Bosnia

Maracana stadiumIn the build-up to the Argentina Bosnia game the crowd was asked to celebrate the Maracanã stadium’s birthday.  It was 64 years old!  That was a first for me!  The old lady looked magnificent after her recent facelift.

I was sitting behind one goal, largely surrounded by Argentinian fans who seemed the spend the  whole match standing up, dancing around, waving flags and taking endless selfies.

That certainly created a lively atmosphere but was a bit annoying if you wanted to watch the game and had a large Argentinean dancing in front of you the whole time!   Read more...

Fan Fest on Copacobana beach for the first match of the 2014 World Cup - Brazil v Croatia

Web 4 -1It has been a long time coming but finally the World Cup kicked off in explosive fashion as hosts Brazil beat Croatia.

Planet Sport Destination Rio's Tom Ellis and Andy Bloss were down on Copacabana beach to get a taste of the atmosphere.

Despite protests before and during the match, once the final whistle went there was a carnival feel around the place as thousands and thousands of Brazilians celebrated their opening day 3-1 win. Have a look at some of our pictures and video

Sports fans on Copacabana beach

Web 3 - 1Web 3 - 2
Excitement is building here in Rio de Janeiro as we edge ever closer to the start of the World Cup as Brazil face Croatia in the first match.

Copacabana beach was awash with fans from around the world as they get ready for kick off in the greatest football tournament in the world.

Planet Sport reporters Andy Bloss and Tom Ellis took a stroll down the boulevard to get a taste of the atmosphere before Brazil play in Sao Paulo.

Have a look at the pictures and video from Copacabana beach.

Press conference

Luis FernandesBrazil’s Deputy Minister of Sport Luis Fernando (right) has said the government will not tolerate protesters if they resort to violence.

Protests and demonstrations have been carried out throughout Brazil in the lead up to the World Cup, particularly in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

In the early hours of Monday morning there were clashes between police and protesters in Sao Paulo which saw tear gas used to disperse the crowds.

Read more... 


With only a few days until kick off excitement is building around the globe for one of the greatest tournaments in the sporting calendar. The World Cup.

Rio football on beach lowresTaking place in Brazil, one of the great footballing nations, fans are travelling to this vast country for what will be a true festival of football.

Here at Planet Sport we will be covering this tournament every step of the way with our team of reporters here in Rio de Janeiro.

Every day we will be producing a half hour show, Planet Sport – Destination Rio, which will be broadcast in countries all over the world as well as being available online here at

We will be covering all sides of the tournament from interviews with players and coaches to our own pre and post-match analysis. We will also be taking a closer look at life in Rio and the issues behind the football in our #TasteofRio features.

Follow our coverage via Twitter @planetsporttv, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and email in your World Cup thoughts and questions to

Listen to our trailer above to get a taste of what is to come ahead of our first show next Wednesday.












Big Dance Brazil 

 A taste of Rio

 Argentina fans celebrate