A Brazilian world cup adventure
Brazil – an exotic destination famed for its rainforest, beaches, breathtaking scenery and passion for football. In June 2014, Brazil was also the destination for some of our dedicated, passionate England fans hoping for World Cup glory… Well, we all know how that turned out.
The multi-stop trip was the brainchild of Mike Garlick, Founder and CEO of Michael Bailey Associates, a football fanatic who is also co-Chairman of newly promoted Premiership side Burnley.
Following on from an amazing trip to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, Mike invited the same a group of long serving employees and long suffering England fans, to go with him.
Having managed to secure tickets for the first two England matches, the group was raring to go. They flew to Sao Paulo and straight onto Manaus in the heart of the rainforest for the England game against Italy. They took full advantage of the location, embarking on a boat trip along a stretch of the Amazon, the 2nd longest river in the world, encountering some of the friendly and not so friendly local wildlife on the way.
After Manaus, it was off to Rio de Janeiro for three days to take in the sights. No trip to Rio is complete without a visit to Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf mountain and Copacabana Beach. The group managed to catch some of the action at the fan parks, and participate in some beach football (from the sidelines at least). Following Brazil’s exit from the tournament, images of Christ the Redeemer in a variety of poses flooded the internet, with yet more meme’s appearing after Germany’s victory. The team settled for a few selfies.
Sao Paulo was the last leg of the trip, and the England – Uruguay game that saw them needing a miracle to stay in the competition. The Michael Bailey group were anxiously sipping a few Brahmas in the ground before kick off, but sadly the team’s performance didn't match the level of passion felt by this bunch of fans who had travelled the 5000+ miles to see them.
“Even though England’s performance was desperately disappointing, the atmosphere in the stadium was incredible. The fans of both teams were there to enjoy themselves whatever the result. The trip has been the experience of a lifetime, and something I will always remember” said David Freeman, one of the group, with 15 years of service at Michael Bailey Associates under his belt.
After having gone to South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, the group now sees this as something of a regular event. Mike Garlick, ever the optimist, was heard commenting:-
“Well, there’s always Russia 2018, who’s up for it?”
We’ll have to wait until then for England’s next shot at footballing glory.