By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The World Cup is upon us, and excitement is starting to build as each nation prepares to launch their campaign. Whether you are an expatriate supporting your home nation, a Carioca cheering on the Canarinhas, or have naturally adopted the Seleção, the city of Rio has a great many options for watching.
Orla kiosks (Rio Beaches)
Local news outlets recently reported that all along Rio’s beaches, from Leme to São Conrado, around a hundred Orla Rio kiosks will be broadcasting the Brazilian games for free during the World Cup, as well as the semi-finals and final, regardless of who is playing.
The kiosks are easy to see as they will be decked out in green and yellow bunting and Brazilian regalia. This is a great and cheap option to see the Seleção in action. More information can be found at this helpful website.
Gringo Café (Ipanema)
For the expatriates cheering on their home nation, the prospect of finding a sympathetic crowd can be a difficult one. During the last World Cup, the Gringo Café, in Ipanema, became the focal point for Americans to cheer on their beloved team.
Despite the U.S. not qualifying this time, Sam Flowers, owner of the Gringo Café, is still encouraging expats to come down and catch a game. He explained, “We will show all the games that are televised and expect a good crowd for important games like Brazil and other countries with expats here.”
The Lord Jim pub (Ipanema)
The Lord Jim pub, in Ipanema, has announced that they will be showing all the main games, including Brazil and England at the ‘oldest pub in Rio.’ This will no doubt be a popular haunt for anyone cheering on the Lions this year.
Biergarten Rio (Centro/Porto Maravilha)
The newly revamped Biergarten Rio, which was such a big hit during the last World Cup, is returning with gusto and plans to throw all-day parties for many of the big matches over the weekend, such as Portugal v Spain this Friday, Croatia v Nigeria on Saturday, and of course Sunday’s Brazil v Switzerland.
This is a great place to go for a neutral, as it isn’t just about the football. There will be craft beers, a food court and DJs playing tunes well into the night. The Biergarten itself offers stunning views of the Guanabara bay and entrance is free.
For something more sophisticated, or for a long suffering partner of a football fanatic, head down to the wine bar Kamaleón, where they will be doing themed wine tastings throughout the World Cup.
‘A Copa das Taças’ (The Cup of the Wine Glasses) will run alongside the football, and will feature Brazilian wines, as well as wines from the country Brazil is playing. Kamaleón is promising to offer a variety of combinations and prices, depending on the game. They will also be showing the football, but you can just go for the wine.
There are countless other sports bars across the city which will be showing games. Lina Carrillo, a student from Colombia, hasn’t decided on where to watch the games, “I’m supporting mainly Columbia and Latin American teams but would love to watch as many matches as my schedule lets me.”
Many Brazilians and expatriates alike will be wracked with nerves this weekend, but spare some sympathy for Piera Conrad, a Swiss expatriate, who has the rather daunting task of watching her country take on Brazil in their first game.
Though she has been offered safe haven, “We have been invited to the Swiss consulate to watch the game at a location in Copacabana,” she confirmed.