Challenge: Try to meet somebody from each team at the World Cup

A month ago, I set myself a challenge: to meet somebody from each country represented at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It meant that I would have to get out and about around Rio to seek out people from each of the 32 teams playing across this huge country.


It’s been a lot of fun! Some people I’ve met when I least expected it. Some I’ve spent days hunting for. Others I’ve easily found sporting their country’s colours, screaming the names of their favourite player or being close to tears as they were sent home (OK these guys weren’t so “fun” to meet).


If you’ve been tracking my progress over on Instagram you may already know how I’ve been getting on, otherwise you can scroll down to see all the photos of the teams that I’ve met!


#1 – These Colombians insisted I borrowed grandma’s shirt and bandana.
#2 – 5 of the 120,000 Argentinians in Rio for the World Cup!
#3 – France’s first game was in Porto Alegre, these guys hadn’t packed for the cold!
#4 – these Japanese guys were out of their taxi for a total of 34 seconds to get their shot in front of the Maracana!
#5 – straight from the murder capital of the world – Honduras!
#6 – this Portuguese chap couldn’t have been happier to pose for this picture with me 🙂
#7 – my shout for best fans of the tournament: Chi Chi Chi Le Le Le, Viva Chile!
#8 – HEY CRO, LET’S GO! Proud Croatians down at Copacabana.
#9 – I asked for a photo with one lady, then a whole Ecuadorian family appeared!
#10 – saw the Ghanaian flag from a far. Sprinted across Ipanema to get this shot!
#11 – met these Russian revellers one Friday night in Lapa!
#12 – couldn’t miss the huge Algeria flag down at Copacabana
#13 – 1996 Olympic gold medalist from Greece!
#14 – met these Belgians sampling the local beer down at the beach
#15 – these Spanish smiles were quickly turned upside down by Chilean chants of “eliminados”
#16 – spotted the Costa Rica flag flying behind me down at the Maracana so jumped up for a quick photo!
#17 – these Holland fans managed to stay on their feet, unlike Robben
#18 – met plenty of USA fans cheering their team in to the knockout stages for the second WC running
#19 – Australians cheering the Soccerroos with obligatory inflatable kangaroo, check.
#20 – this guy had come all the way from Cameroon to volunteer in Rio!
#21 – waving their green shirts in the air, the Nigerians were making a right noise down at the fan fest
#22 – didn’t think I was going to get find anybody from the Ivory Coast until I spotted this orange shirt down outside the Maracana
#23 – these Bosnians were not impressed with the referee, but they were loving Rio!
#24 – travelled across the city to find this Iranian guy, complete with flag painted across his face!
#25 – goalie gloves, full England kit, ponytail: David Seaman wannabe
#26 – I know, I know, it was very brave to leave my shoulder exposed when meeting these guys from Uruguay
#27 – this guy from South Korea REALLY loved his country’s flag.
#28 – Mexican wrestling masks were everywhere whenever los Manitos were playing!
#29 – Switzerland were there too, and these guys were jumping around all over the place!
#30 – the winners. Germany took over one bar at Copacabana, so I took my England shirt down there!
#31 – this guy was convinced he looked just like Brazil’s star man Neymar, probably because about 10 people went up to him asking for a photo!



Only one more to go…


Could I get all 32?





ABSOLUTELY I COULD (although I nearly didn’t get this last one!)!


I very nearly left it too late to get this one, but I spotted this Italian from across the street to take me to #32!!!!


To be living in Rio during the World Cup really was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am so happy and lucky to have been able to take. I’ve always loved football, but to be able to see the passion that people from countries across the world have for the beautiful game was incredible.


From the Argentinian dressed as a priest clutching Maradona’s autobiography, to the Chileans proudly roaring their team to victory against the World Champions. From the sea of yellow shirts at Copacabana as Colombia took over the fan fest to the Brazilians celebrating Germany’s victory like they’d won it themselves (kindly reminding Argentina that Cafu has won the World Cup as many times as them).


As Bill Shankly once said, “football is not just a matter of life and death: it’s much more important than that”. Football quite literally brings people together from across the world and I loved every minute of this World Cup!


What were your favourite moments of the World Cup?



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  10 comments for “Challenge: Try to meet somebody from each team at the World Cup

  1. July 21, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Absolutely brilliant RichyRoo. Well done. Have enjoyed sharing this trip with you. Thanks
    Love to you and Jo
    Rob, Caroline and the boys

    • July 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Mr Mirton! Hope you guys are all well!!! Love to you all

  2. Lydia
    July 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Great post! Looks like you had a blast! Looking forward to the next installment 🙂 xx

    • July 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks!! Had a great time at the World Cup, now travels through Central America are about to begin 🙂

  3. Greyster
    July 28, 2014 at 9:21 am

    That is some feet, Richy mate 😉

  4. Palash
    August 3, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Nice post Richard…. I didn’t notice this post earlier… like the pictures and taglines 🙂

  5. Filly
    August 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Next challenge?…. Meet someone who supports each team in the premier league whilst in Central America?!?!!

    • August 10, 2014 at 1:14 am

      Hmmmm I haven’t met very many English people here so that might be a challenge!!!

  6. Filly
    August 6, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Ps. Brilliant effort and job on getting them all!

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