The Fifa World Cup returns to Recife


After 64 years, Recife returns to host the biggest sport event on the planet: the Fifa World Cup.

The capital of Pernambuco already has hosted a World Cup match, in 1950 at the stadium Ilha do Retiro, in a memorable game when Chile beat the United States 5-2.

This time, the city will host five World Cup games at the Arena Pernambuco, a new state-of-the-art stadium built in Sao Lourenco da Mata in Recife’s metropolitan region, just 19 km away from Guararapes International Airport.

FIFA was confident Recife would stage a spectacular carnival of football
As a result of the Second World War, the 1942 and 1946 World Cups were cancelled. In 1950, with Europe rebuilding itself, it fell to Brazil to get the World Cup back on the road and Recife was chosen as a host city. Faced with the challenge of hosting the event, Pernambuco decided to deliver the world its biggest football stage.
The stadium Ilha do Retiro was inaugurated on July 4, 1937. Due to its structure, location and fulfilling Fifa's famous standards, in the 50’s it was considered the best stadium in Brazil's Northeast and was selected to host a World Cup game.
The stadium's common name, Ilha do Retiro, is the name of the neighborhood where it is located. It was the first stadium to be built in Recife, after the team Sport Recife bought a 17-hectare small ranch.  The stadium's official name is Estádio Adelmar da Costa Carvalho and is in honor of the Sport Recife president who presided over the first renovation of the stadium. 
Chile and United States played at the Ilha do Retiro stadium in the 1950 World Cup


A new stadium

Pernambuco is one of the most traditional States of the Brazilian football championships. Recife is home to three historic Brazilian clubs; Nautico, Santa Cruz and Sport. Each team have their own private stadium -  Aflitos, Ilha do Retiro, and Arruda respectively - but the state government of Pernambuco, in partnership with a private consortium, have decided to construct a new, ultra-modern one up to the exacting standards of the FIFA World Cup: the Arena Pernambuco has been built in the metropolitan area surrounding Recife with easy access by public and private transport.

The three clubs of Recife have passionate fan bases, and hopes are the building of a new stadium in the region will help boost the city's economic development. Among the modern venue's facilities is the use of solar power that will help to fuel the local area when the stadium is not in use.
The Arena Pernambuco, which is part of a major complex also featuring restaurants, shopping centres and cinemas, is located in Sao Lourenco da Mata in Recife’s metropolitan zone, about 12.5 miles from the centre of the city. 
Capacity: 44,248.
Opened: it was eventually declared operationally ready on 20 May 2013, with a friendly between Nautico and Sporting Lisboa, and hosted games of the 2013 Confederation Cup.
Key Fixtures: The Arena Pernambuco will host four group games and a second-round match.
Location: On the Atlantic coast on the east of Brazil, close to the equator and among tropical forests.
Altitude: Sea level.
Climate: Hot and sunny with a well defined wet season and summer showers. Temperatures are coolest in June and July, which are Recife's two wettest months. Humidity is also usually high during these months. Average temperature 28ºC.
Background: This brand new stadium was built in an economically deprived area on the outskirts of Recife, and will eventually form part of a leisure complex and residential development which it is hoped will act as a catalyst for local regeneration.
Matches of the World Cup in Recife:
June 14th (Saturday): Ivory Coast - Japan
June 20th (Friday): Italy - Costa Rica
June 23rd (Monday): Croatia - Mexico
June 26th (Thursday): USA - Germany
June 29th (Sunday): 1D - 2C


The Arena Pernambuco will host five World Cup games

A mascot that loves the environment

The Tatu bola, or three-banded armadillo, is the official mascot for the 2014 World Cup. This animal, which is in danger of extinction, has three distinctive bands on its shell and is found in northeast Brazil. If you want to see a real one you can visit the Dois Irmaos ('Two brothers') Zoo, on the outskirts of Recife city.

The armadillo rolls up into the shape of a ball when threatened. The mascot carries the colours of the Brazilian flag - the armadillo is yellow, with green shorts and a blue shell and tail. It is dressed in a white shirt with the words "Brazil 2014'' written on it.

Fuleco, the mascot's adopted name, comes from the Portuguese words "futebol'' (football) and "ecologia'' (ecology), and FIFA said it "seamlessly represents the way in which the FIFA World Cup can combine the two to encourage people to behave in an environmentally friendly way". 

FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil says: "Not only is he well known and recognised by the vast majority of Brazilians, he also seems to have built up a rapport with soccer fans and is a popular figure, even gaining his own affectionate nickname 'tatu-bola'. He is fast becoming the most successful FIFA World Cup mascot of all time."

Each mascot has been unique and focused on different issues relevant to their time, so now we look forward to seeing more of Fuleco, who describes himself as: "A proud Brazilian, warm-hearted and hospitable, like so many people in my country."

Previous World Cup Animal mascots

World Cup Willie (1966, England) The first mascot used at a FIFA tournament was in 1966 in England when World Cup Willie was created. He was a cartoon lion wearing a Union Flag jersey chosen to symbolise the host nation's history and tradition.

Striker, the World Cup pup (1994, USA) The United States went back to the idea of having an animal as the mascot for their first-ever World Cup, creating Striker, a dog that, similar to its name, played upfront. Wearing the US’ red, white and blue, Striker was designed by the Warner Brothers animation studios, and had USA '94 written on its shirt.

Footix (1998, France) A rooster, one of France’s national symbols, was chosen as the mascot of the 1998 World Cup, with Footix, as it was called, having a blue body much like France’s kit, a yellow beak and red feathers. The name Footix was chosen after 47 percent of the 18,500 respondents to a vote chose it over the likes of Zimbo, Houpi, Raffy and Gallik.

Goleo and Pille (2006, Germany) The second lion mascot to be made for the Fifa World Cup, Goleo wore a Germany shirt with the number ’06′ on its back, and carried around a football which was called Pille. The name Goleo came from the words ‘goal’and ‘leo’, the latter being Latin for ‘lion’.

Zakumi (2010, South Africa) The 2010 World Cup in South Africa saw the creation of a leopard as its mascot, with Zakumi owning a green mane and wearing a shirt that said ‘South Africa 2010′. Its green and golden colours represented the colours of South Africa’s national sports teams, while its name came from Za (for South Africa) and Kumi (which means ‘ten’ in African languages, the year in which the World Cup was being held).

Fuleco is fast becoming the most successful FIFA World Cup mascot of all time.


Recife’s Host City poster

The official poster represents the essence of a coastal host city full of multicultural, art and entertainment. With colourful umbrellas, dancers perform an elaborate choreography that seems to fill the world with delight. 

The image shows a frevo dancer whose movements resemble the acrobatics of skilled football players – a combination which is in fact the key note of the poster. The cloud of dynamic movement created by the dancer shows the city’s many colours, highlighting its distinctive landscape of bridges, rivers, boats and rich architecture as well as revellers fully enjoying one of Brazil's most traditional carnivals.
 * This article was produced exclusively for My Guide Recife, your one-stop travel resource by local experts with heaps of quality handmade information, tips, photos, videos and virtual tours to make your stay in Pernambuco, Brazil, one to be remembered. There are loads of options for accommodationrestaurantsnightlife and activities and trips in and around Olinda and Recife. Check out our information on the beachesFernando de Noronha islands and inland. We also invite you to browse My Guide's guides for the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and nearly 100 top destinations worldwide.*