These days, a soccer World Cup is a multi-billion dollar project, with a number of financial "winners," such as FIFA, and many losers, given the development priorities that are sacrificed to build gleaming stadia. Does this also mean that one can explain a nation's success at the cup largely by money?
This is, of course, a false contrast as baseball is popular in much East Asia, the Caribbean and increasingly in a few other countries besides the US. Soccer, while the world's most popular sport has failed to catch on in many parts of South Asia and is one of several popular sports in Australia, parts of East Asia and North America.
Though she is uncomfortable with the label, Bebel Gilberto is, for many folks, bossa nova royalty: Her father, Joao Gilberto is arguably the founder of the quiet sophisticated distillation of samba, and her mother is the singer Miucha
Fortunately, after spending the last four weeks in Brazil doing impact work in the local communities, I've learned one very important thing: Brazil is more than football.
In an always-on digital world, we have the two-edged sword of our "legacy cement" constantly being poured...hero to zero and back again before it dries.
Indeed, many in the soccer-crazed nation of over 202 million said the Most Congenial Nation award was a necessary first step in a long healing process.
The top player wins a Golden Ball, the top goalie gets the Golden Glove and the top commentator should get a Golden Mic because, WOW, they can talk for days. And the thing is they sound so excited.
Germany earned its 4th World Cup title but first in 24 years -- titles just don't come easy. In the process, Germany saved more salt being rubbed into Brazil's still fresh wounds.
Aside from finalists Germany and Argentina, the tournament also witnessed admirable performances from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Netherlands.
Last night I attended a party given by Hublot watches and Romero Britto at what he called the most beautiful mansion in Rio, located in the Santa Tere...
All is set for the final game here in Rio with close to 100,000 thousands Argentinian fans invading this city and especially the beach at Copacabana, ...
I am not a fan of The Beautiful Game, although I do watch and appreciate its beauty especially when it is displayed by the likes of Lionel Messi. Soccer, as with all games, when played with skill and competence is a beautiful game.
Forget the impressive ideals of global harmony. Ratings and revenues are the driver with minimum attention paid to celebrating diverse cultures or teaching the world about the world. No wonder there is so much unreported corruption on all sides. The World Cup does not belong to the world.
All was back to normal in Brazil and thousands of Argentinian fans left the game in Sao Paulo and arrived in Rio in the early hours of Thursday morning to prepare for the big game on Sunday.
You, reader, must be finding this title strange after the humiliating defeat of Brazil 7 to 1 to Germany in the World Cup semifinals. But that's not what I am talking about.
Rio is visually dazzling. A natural wonderland where mountains meet ocean, bays and inlets beg to be Instagrammed, and scenic palm fronds frame the whole gorgeous scene.