Brazil to host three-year sporting fiesta

3rd Jun 2013

Sports fans: if you were captivated by England's thrilling 2-2 draw against Brazil at the Maracanã on Sunday (June 2), you ain't seen nothing yet.

The football friendly was merely an appetiser for the sporting spectacular that visitors to Brazil's shores can savour over the next three years.

Brazil, seen as traditional custodian and most successful exponent of "The Beautiful Game", is set to host next year's FIFA World Cup, with hundreds of thousands of football fans on specialist tours expected to descend on the soccer-crazy country.

Then, in 2016, Rio de Janeiro, ever-popular with adventure-seeking holidaymakers on city breaks, is due to stage the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The newly renovated 78,000-seater Maracanã, which was completed last month, is also scheduled to hold the opening ceremony of next month's Fifa Confederations Cup and matches in the tournament.

Brazil's world-renowned Copacabana Beach has also been the official venue of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and staged many other sports including American Football as well as pop concerts.

The beach, famous for its spectacular New Year's Eve celebrations, also saw Usain Bolt trying to beat the 150-metre world record in March.

England's footballers can vouch for the beach's natural splendour. Players such as Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole hit the sand for a training session prior to Sunday's big match.

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