SAO PAULO — I’ve seen poor all over the world, but Thursday was different. Maybe it’s the people of Brazil. Maybe it was me. Dunno. I was apprehensive when we first stepped into a favela around noon. The cab driver warned us it was too dangerous and urged us to reconsider. By the end of the day, though, I couldn’t have felt more comfortable. The da Silva family in the Jaguare favela graciously allowed us to watch the opening match of the World Cup with them and their friends. They didn’t have much, but that didn’t stop them from offering up an endless supply of food and drink. I typed the story from their roof under a dark sky, the Sao Paulo skyline in the background and the whole city singing and honking their hearts out. I couldn’t help but be struck at their ability to appreciate everything that was right in front of them. Which was mostly family and community and love. Oh, and beer, too.
Here’s my story from Friday’s paper.
Natal — the site of the Mexico-Cameroon match that will kick off Friday’s action — has been a bit rainy Friday morning. As in, there’s a deluge.
Two hours before Mexico-Cameroon in Natal, heavy rain and gridlock traffic. Will be interesting to see how the stadium holds up.— Greg Bishop (@GregBishopSI) June 13, 2014
Roads underwater around the ground in Natal!! pic.twitter.com/jcuarLzPHJ— Darren Fletcher (@DFletcherSport) June 13, 2014
View from our position - still hammering down!! pic.twitter.com/K8CPTOexpY— Darren Fletcher (@DFletcherSport) June 13, 2014
Here are some front pages from Mexican papers in advance of El Tri’s opener against Cameroon. “I believe in you,” reads the headline on the right.
The Going Out Guide has a nifty map showing where you can watch the World Cup with fans of your favorite team. Fritz Hahn also has a story on where you can watch Mexico vs. Cameroon at noon with fans of either team.
Fans in Natal are dealing with the rain, and also dressed in funny costumes with the Cameroon-Mexico match 90 minutes away.
Brazil-Croatia averaged a 3.2 overnight rating on ESPN, up, 52% from opening match in 2010 & highest overnight World Cup opener ever.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) June 13, 2014
The Post’s Dom Phillips watched Thursday’s World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia from a Sao Paulo favela, a poor neighborhood just miles from the stadium.
In an accompanying story in Friday’s editions of The Post, anger was evident at the opening match, but many joyfully united behind the home team.
Striker Webo tweeted this photo from inside the Cameroon locker room.
The facilities appear pretty modest by U.S. standards.
The Post’s graphics crew did a nifty graphic that looks at where most of the World Cup’s players play professionally. Take a look.