The Three Lions may be all but done at World Cup 2014, but our correspondent is far from finished. In the latest of his (only slightly drunken) diaries Simon Hagens checks back in from Brazil with a report on England’s defeat at the hands of Luis Suarez and Uruguay.
Well, to get it out if the way, that match was rubbish. Rubbish, at least, from the perspective of an England supporter who is now looking at a meaningless match against Costa Rica in a few days. If you like superb finishes by Luis Suarez and the colour baby blue, then you’re likely more pleased. But enough said about all that.
The logistics of the whole match day experience here in Brazil continue to be better than advertised. For all the worries of the World Cup throwing things into chaos, it was probably a bit naive to think that 50,000 football fans would rattle a city of 25 million. The train whisked us from Luz station through a mix of neighbourhoods to the relatively poor area where the new stadium stands. It rises from a sea of ramshackle buildings. Very beautiful and impressive … and nearly finished. Arena Corinthians, which is now home to the popular Corinthians club, sits on a huge piece of land and is attached to an upscale mall. Massive amounts of white marble make it gleam on the inside, increasing the contrast to the surroundings. At least it will see some good use going forward, which may not be the case for the site of our first match in Manaus.
Despite the England loss, there was a generally good atmosphere and camaraderie with Uruguay fans, I got myself some new shoes, and the residents of this city proved they still love a good party. So when in Rome, you might as well put your sorrows behind you.
São Paulo has been a fantastic part of this trip. Art, food, architecture, bustling markets, nightlife and friendly, worldly people who love to talk politics, culture, or whatever. I could spend a lot more time in São Paulo. Off to Rio now for a few days before Belo Horizonte on Tuesday and our final match.