April 26, 2014 |
Between a cluster of bars in this small coastal town, middle-aged European men hover around dozens of fresh-faced Brazilian women in tight dresses. Around the corner, two girls who look to be in their teens flag down cars, signaling their availability to potential clients. Most such activity, however, seems confined to a small, seedy tourist strip, the last gasp of a bygone era. Natal, long known as a hot spot for sex tourism, has seen fewer problems in the wake of a national economic boom and concerted government efforts to cut back on the Carnaval nation's carnal image.
April 22, 2014 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - In 50 days the best athletes in the world's most popular sport will convene in Brazil, one of soccer's sacred spiritual homes, for the game's most important tournament. It will be a powerful, uplifting tribute to the "beautiful game" that Brazilians have shaped for decades and the new status of a confident, rising global power in Latin America. Locals and foreigners will marvel at shiny new stadiums and glide across the continent-sized country on upgraded infrastructure.
April 18, 2014 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - Highways and bus transit ground to a halt in parts of Brazil early Friday, and flights were delayed as Brazilians launched on their long Easter holiday weekend. Brazil's transportation system has been the subject of heated debate recently. Some worry that it will buckle under the pressure of thousands of visitors who will descend on the country in June for soccer's World Cup tournament. The country is struggling to finish transportation facilities and stadiums. Others say its experience hosting major events such as the annual Carnaval or last year's visit by Pope France make it uniquely prepared to handle huge crowds.
April 15, 2014 |
If you're going to Brazil for the World Cup, you'd better start looking for a sports bar where you can watch the games on TV. Because for all the problems with stadium construction, transportation infrastructure and political protests, this World Cup has proved to be one of the bestselling ever. Tickets for nearly two-thirds of the tournament's matches were snatched up just hours into the final online sales phase Tuesday, and 44 of the 64 games have already sold out. FIFA, organizer of the World Cup, put 200,000 tickets on sale Tuesday on a first-come, first-serve basis.
April 3, 2014 |
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Landon Donovan on Wednesday spent the first 59 minutes of the U.S. national team's friendly against Mexico on the bench, a place he's not accustomed to being for that long. But it's a place Donovan, the leading scorer in U.S. team history, says he's willing to get used to if that helps the team and Coach Juergen Klinsmann in this summer's World Cup. “Whatever the team needs,” he said following a 2-2 draw with Mexico in the final game before the U.S. team convenes for its World Cup training camp next month.
April 2, 2014 |
Pele is widely recognized as the greatest soccer player of all time. He developed his unparalleled skills playing against other shoeless kids on the dirt streets of Brazil with a ball made from old socks and newspapers. But now Pele says the best grass-roots soccer programs in the world are not in Brazil, but in the U.S., where he is on tour publicizing his new book "Why Soccer Matters. " “People should be careful," Pele warned in a short phone interview. "Because I think here in the United States today, they play more soccer than they play in Brazil.