By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The World Cup is almost over, with just two more games to be played. At 11AM, on Saturday, June 14th Belgium take on England to see who will win third place; and then on Sunday, June 15th the mighty France take on the surprise package of the tournament, Croatia. Here are the best places to watch the two games.
Lord Jim Pub (Ipanema)
The ‘oldest pub in Rio de Janeiro’ has become something of a headquarters for the resident English fans of the ‘Cidade Maravilhosa.’
Regarding the three lions’ untimely exit at the penultimate stage of the tournament, the pub released this statement, “We did not make it to the final, but this cup here in the Lord has been unforgettable. The English crowd gave a real show, and presented us with wonderful moments. The true atmosphere of the cup, of patriotism, of fighting spirit.”
They continue, “And it is in this spirit that the Lord opens the doors to England x Belgium, with a mixture of nostalgia and gratitude. So do not miss every move of this game, get in the mood and come and enjoy The Old Lord Pub.” This is sure to be the place to go if you wish to cheer on the ‘Three Lions’ one last time.
Belga Brasserie (Centro)
This little haven of Belgium in the midst of Rio’s Centro is also known for attracting a few local expatriates to cheer on the ‘Red Devils.’
They’ve also implored people not to stay away from what is usually known as an anti-climactic match, stating, “The cup is not over yet! Come and watch the Belgium x England match next Saturday at 11am at the Belgian Brasserie.”
To further entice any thirsty supporters, they’ve also added an extra incentive, “For every Belgian goal, there will be a round of handmade chopp on the house!” One to visit if you are a fan of Belgium, or just free beer.
Salomé Bistrô (Leme)
Salomé Bistrô is an authentically Parisian hangout that has attracted its fair share of French expats to their surprisingly enthusiastic showings of the World Cup. Head down to here if ‘Les Bleus’ are your team.
French student of political sciences, Matei Ngangue, comments, “At the beginning of the world cup, I did not think that France had a great chance to win. Honestly I had more hope in teams like Brazil.”
He continues, “But then when we won against Uruguay with great quality and I changed my mind and from that moment on I’ve been convinced that France are going to win!”
Asked where he will watch the final, he says, “I think I’m going to watch the game in a bar with other French people or at the French embassy. It will be a great moment!”
Vila Croácia (Senador Camará)
Perhaps the only place where a Croatian supporter will be guaranteed to find themselves among friends, this football team from the populous ‘Zona Oeste’ (West Zone) neighborhood have been playing in Croatia’s national kit for many years in tribute to the founder of the neighborhood, a Croatian priest.
Shenanigans Irish Pub (Ipanema)
This is one for the neutrals. Shenanigans has been showing all of the action this World Cup, and this weekend will be no different. Known as a sports bar with a convivial atmosphere, this is a fine place to head to if you’re not too interested in the result but more looking to get one last taste of the inimitable atmosphere that makes the World Cup so special.