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baron-pierreIV

Brazil 2014 World Cup...

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Rodrigo,

Bella! Bella! Maybe you should move these very visual posts of yours to:

http://www.gamesbids.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14084

I only asked the initial question in relation to the IOC Evaluation work. let's NOT clog up these Olympic-discussion threads w/ actual WC discussions. I opened up that thread.

If you cannot edit, maybe I will ask the Moderator to move these to that new thread.

OK Baron, i just want to inform gamesbids members about the preparations for 2014 world cup. I made this work to show in another forum. The pics aren't protected, so you can use anywere, but please keep the autor's name :) But remember that some cities wil not be selected as hosts and some projects can hae changes until next year! Now i will use this topic to bring news about the preparations of world cup in Brazil and try to respond members questions.

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Seventeen cities are competing to become Host Cities for the 20th edition of FIFA World Cup. The decision on the successful 12 will be made at the end of May. Here is the history of the Candidate Cities and their attractions:

BELÉM

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The capital of the state of Pará, Belém is the main doorway to the eastern side of the Amazon rainforest. While its 1.4-million population is significant, the 'City of mango trees' also offers dazzling, authentic sights of Amazonian nature.

Belém was first founded in 1616, right on the convergence of rivers Pará and Guamá. That was where the Forte do Presépio (Crèche Fort), which is still one of the city's landmarks, was established. Several other displays of colonial architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries have also been revitalised and are among the city's attractions, such as the the appealing Mercado Ver-o-Peso (Check-the-weight market), which is one of the largest open markets in the world, with 5,000 workers, where the visitors mingle with locals to get a true taste of everything that is typical from the region, from fruit like the açaí to a number of spices and herbs.

No other period in history left more track in Belém than the so-called Rubber Era. During the late 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century, Belém became an important commercial centre thanks to the exploration of the seringueiras - the trees from which rubber was extracted. It was during that period that some of Belém's most notorious buildings were constructed, such as the Teatro da Paz (Peace Theatre) and the Palacete Bolonha. During the 20th century, Belém reckoned its enormous potential to attract tourists and developed some other facilities like the Estação das Docas (Docks Station), the departure point of several river cruises, and the Complexo Ver-o-Rio (See-the-river complex).

Belém is also famous for hosting one of Brazil's most typical religious celebrations, the Círio de Nazaré - a procession that gathers up to two million people on the second Sunday of October, who pray for Our Lady of Nazareth, the patron saint of the state of Pará.

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BELO HORIZONTE

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Since the 18th century, during the days of the Inconfidência Mineira - an independence conspiracy against the domination of the Portuguese crown - the state of Minas Gerais gambled with the idea of instating a new capital to replace Ouro Preto. Once Brazil declared its independence (1822) and became a republic in 1889, the stage was set for a new capital to be chosen. Among several contestants, the small avillage of Curral del-Rei achieved the right to host the Cidade de Minas, officially inaugurated in 1897 and whose name was eventually changed in 1906 to Belo Horizonte (Portuguese for ‘beautiful horizon').

Engineer Aarão Reis, an admirer of Paris and Washington, D.C., was responsible for putting the urban planning for the new state capital together. What his project did not contemplate, though, was the fast-paced development through which Belo Horizonte would go after a period of stagnation in the first decades of the 20th century. Soon the city expanded beyond its original limits and new neighbourhoods had to be planned and developed - the most notorious of them the Pampulha, an area of wide avenues and many squares and parks designed in the 1940s by Brazil's premier architect Oscar Niemeyer.

Today Belo Horizonte - or Beagá, as the city is famously known, after the sound of initials BH in Portuguese - is the sixth-most populous city in Brazil with just over 2.4 million residents, while its metropolitan area comprising a total 34 cities ranks third in the country, behind São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

From the beauty of its green areas to the careful city-planning; from the wide array of cultural activities to the nature wonders of the Serra do Curral surrounding it, Belo Horizonte has several reasons for being constantly appointed as one of the Latin American metropolises that provides the best qualify of life.

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BRASÍLIA

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The construction of this ultra-modern city, situated in the centre of Brazil, began in 1956. Since its official foundation on 21 April 1960, the city has served the purpose for which it was built: to replace Rio de Janeiro as the country's capital. As a result, the bulk of Brazil's federal administration and political power are centred here.

The move to take the capital away from the coast gradually began gathering momentum after Brazil gained independence in 1822. The switch was intended to symbolise the country's change from a colonial state to an independent nation, and this intention was legally documented in 1891 by an article in the Constitution. But it was not until 1953, under the presidency of Getulio Vargas, that the idea resurfaced. It fell to another president, Juscelino Kubitschek, to bring the project to fruition, with the start of construction in 1956 and the city's official founding four years later both coming during his time in office.

One of the city's striking features is its wide avenues, which surround both its public buildings and its two districts, one to the north and the other to the south. These are divided into so-called superblocks, each of which contain numerous buildings. The central part of the cross is the Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers' Square). Here can be found the country's seats of Executive and Legislative Power as well as the headquarters of the Supreme Federal Court.

Widely considered to be avant-garde city in architectural terms, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia and the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge are without doubt the most iconic structures. Both were designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the man behind most of the landmark buildings in the new capital. Due to its architectural feats,

Brasilia is the only city in the world constructed in the 20th century to have been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

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CAMPO GRANDE

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The group of farmers from the state of Minas Gerais that founded a small village in the interior of the country in the late 19th century named it Campo Grande (Big Field), after the vast green area in which it was situated. Over the decades, that village has gone through dramatic changes and has become the imposing capital of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, with a population of 747,000 spread over its 8,096 square kilometers (3,125 sq mi).

The Cidade Morena (Brown City), as it is nicknamed after the crimson-brown colour of the local soil, has developed into one of the most important urban centres of the Centre-western region of Brazil and is strategically located right in the heart of Mato Grosso do Sul, on the way to neighbours Bolivia and Paraguay, two countries whose cultural influence is clearly noted in the area through such habits as the Tereré, a typical Paraguayan infusion prepared with cold water. Campo Grande is also an access hub to some of the country's most coveted ecological tourism destinations, such as the city of Bonito and the tropical wonders in the wetlands of Pantanal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The weather in Campo Grande is humid in the summer and very dry during the winter. Temperatures may reach 30º C in just about any month of the year, though, turning the several green areas of the city - such as the massive 119-hectare Indigenous Nations Park - into a big hit among the campo-grandenses. Most of the city's landmarks may be visited with a two-and-a-half hour ride on the city tour bus.

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CUIABÁ

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The capital of the state of Mato Grosso, Cuiabá is located in the exact geographic centre of South America, an equidistant 2,000 km from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Established in 1719 during the Brazilian Gold Rush, its centre still houses several historical buildings that have been declared national heritage sites in 1992.

For about 250 years, Cuiabá stood quietly as a small city in the Centre-western region of Brazil. The scenario changed promptly in the 20th century, when the federal government implanted an expansion plan towards the interior of the country, which resulted in roadways connecting Mato Grosso to the states of Goiás and São Paulo. In 30 years, the population increased dramatically from around 57,000 inhabitants in 1960 to 400,000 in 1990. The vast 3,538-square kilometre area of Cuiabá is currently the home of 544,737 people.

Cuiabá stands on a privileged location for tourists, as it confronts three of Brazil's most important and characteristic ecosystems: the savannahs of the Cerrado; the wetlands of the Pantanal; and the Amazon. With such a massive presence of nature, it is no wonder, then, that Cuiabá has been nicknamed ‘Green City'. The cuiabanos also neighbour one of Brazil's most startling landscapes, the mountain range of Chapada dos Guimarães, where archaeological sites and a 3,300-square kilometre National Park attract thousands of visitors every year.

The Chapada dos Guimarães is one of the reasons why Cuiabá is considered the hottest state capital in Brazil, as the mountain range blocks the polar masses and helps driving temperatures to over 40º C during the summer.

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CURITIBA

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The city of Curitiba is one of the finest examples of a bulky economic and industrial development carried out with responsibility and organisation. Since it was declared the capital of the state of Paraná in 1853, the city has gone through several major urban planning projects to avoid uncontrolled growth and thus has become an international role model in dealing with such sensitive issues as transportation and the environment.

Curitiba is now the most populous city in the southern region of Brazil, with 1.8 million inhabitants, and stands right at the centre of a metropolitan area whose economy ranks fourth in terms of contribution to the country's gross national product. With all that, Curitiba still maintains the structural conditions to offer a remarkable welfare and quality of life to its residents, thanks to its innumerable parks and a high-profile cultural schedule.

The curitibanos owe a lot of their cultural richness to the massive immigration process through which the south of Brazil underwent during the 19th century, when it welcomed a huge contingent of Germans, Italians, Ukrainians and Polish. These traits are noticeable in such city landmarks as the Santa Felicidade neighbourhood, with its first-class Italian cantinas; the Bosque Alemão (German Wood) and the Ukrainian church replica at fabulous Tingüi Park

Besides the Tingüi, other important parks that showcase Curitiba's concern with preserving green areas include the Tanguá, the Barigüi and the impressive Botanical Garden. Other city attractions revolve around its pulsating cultural life, like the Ópera de Arame (a theatre all built with glass and iron wires) and the pungent Oscar Niemeyer Museum, designed by the architect himself.

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FLORIANÓPOLiS

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Part of Florianópolis is carved in the Southern coast of Brazil, while most of its 433-square kilometre area is a majestic island right next to the coast. The city's most celebrated postcard is the first bridge to connect the island to the continent; Hercílio Luz Bridge, inaugurated in 1926.

But nothing is as appealing in the state's capital, Santa Catarina, as its fabulous beaches. There are over 100 different ones, each featuring a different atmosphere: from the trendy, high-profile clubbing at Jurerê beach to almost untouched marvels such as Lagoinha do Leste, to surfers' paradises like Armação and Joaquina.

The then-called island of Santa Catarina was first populated after 1675, when the community of Nossa Senhora do Desterro (Our Lady of the Banishment) was founded. On 23 March 1726, the community was officially declared a village and this is the official foundation milestone of the capital of Santa Catarina. Throughout the 18th century, huge immigration waves from the Portuguese overseas territory of Azores landed on the island and played a decisive role in the formation of the florianopolitano personality. The name Florianópolis was not adopted until 1894, in homage to then-Brazilian president Floriano Peixoto.

Floripa, as the city is affectionately known, is a 400,000-population city that is still quite serene, except during the high tourism season between December and February. According to a survey performed by the United Nations in 2000, Florianópolis is one of Brazil's five best cities in terms of quality of life, with a human development index of 0,875. The natural wonders and urban organisation have led to recent migration wave from residents of several other states.

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FORTALEZA

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Although it was officially founded as a village in 1726, and would only become the capital of Ceará in 1799, Fortaleza (Portuguese for 'fortress') owes its name to the period between 1637 to 1654, when it was controlled by the Dutch, who built the Schoonenborch Fort.

Featuring 34 kilometres of wonderful beaches, Fortaleza has been one of the main tourist destinations in the north-east of Brazil for several years. It has also developed into an important economic centre and a densely populated metropolitan area: over 2.4 million people reside within its 313 square kilometres (120,8 sq mi).

Most of the tourist attractions in Fortaleza revolve around its beaches: the Praia do Futuro (Future Beach) popular for its several barracas - simple kiosk-restaurants built on the sand that serve fresh, typical seafood - while Iracema is the place for bars and nightclubs. There is also more bucolic Mucuripe Beach, from where fishermen venture into the sea with their jangadas (handmade wooden boats). The coastal Beira Mar avenue is also the place for a traditional daily craftsmen's fair and for some of the top spots to dance the forró, a typical rhythm from the north-east of Brazil.

Over the decades, Fortaleza has invested in infra-structure for tourism and in new features such as the Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura (Sea Dragon Art and Culture Centre) and the Beach Park, Brazil's largest water park, with several cutting-edge speed-slides distributed along 35,000 square kilometres.

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GOIÂNIA

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Unlike most metropolitan areas in Brazil, Goiânia was established quite recently, when its then-governor decided to move the capital of the state of Goiás away from its homonymous city. A vast area on Brazil's Planalto Central (Central Plateau) was chosen to house the newborn city, whose foundation stone was laid in 1933. The name of the new capital was chosen through a poll organized by the O Social newspaper, and the inaugural ceremony finally took place in 1942.

Goiânia is located right in the heart of the Brazilian highlands, only 209 kilometres away from the country's capital, Brasília, which was also set up in the 20th century, in 1960. During its first decades, Goiânia underwent a population explosion and, from roughly 50,000 inhabitants in 1942, had 380,000 by 1970 and 920,000 by 1990. The current population within the 739 square kilometres (285 sq mi) area of Goiânia is around 1.2 million people. With a very defined dry season of barely any rainfall between May and September, and some nine months of sunny weather every year, Goiânia enjoys an annual temperature average of 23º C.

The Art Deco-inspired buildings from the 1940s and 1950s have become a landmark of the city centre, and have been officially recognized as a national heritage site in 2003. Goiânia is also famous for being one of the greenest cities in the whole world, with plenty of public parks among its most popular attractions, such as the striking Vaca Brava Park or the 125,000-square kilometre Bosque dos Buritis. Typical food is another highlight for visitors, as the influence of migrants from the states of Minas Gerais and Bahia fitted perfectly with the distinctive products from the Cerrado, the Brazilian tropical savannah, such as pequi and guariroba.

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MANAUS

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The very location of the city of Manaus is one of its most remarkable attractions: the confluence of the rivers Negro (Black) and Solimões (how the Amazon River is known in this part of Brazil). The dark-coloured waters of the former and the muddy waters of the latter flow side by side for over 18 kilometres without mixing, forming one of the Amazon's most majestic sights.

Since it was first inhabited in 1669, Manaus steadily evolved into the capital of the state of Amazonas and finally into the metropolis of the Amazon. Manaus is now the 12th most populous city in Brazil, with just over two million inhabitants, and became an economic powerhouse during the 20th century, after the construction of the Manaus Industrial Pole.

The equatorial climate of Manaus is another of its most interesting traits, with an annual temperature average of 28ºC, air humidity of over 80 per cent and two very defined seasons: the rainy one (December to May) and the so-called dry season, between June and November, when precipitation is not as intense and temperatures may reach as high as 40ºC.

The combination of outstanding natural beauty, local traditions and a metropolis on the rise gives Manaus a unique atmosphere, thanks to such diverse features as the Teatro Amazonas - an impressive concert hall that houses the annual Amazonas Opera Festival - and the Boi-Manaus, which is a celebration of the city's anniversary, rocked by the sounds of the typical rhythm of the "boi-bumbá".

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NATAL

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On 25 December 1597, back when Brazil was a colony of the Portuguese crown, a group of Portuguese officials reached the Potengi River with the duty of reclaiming the captaincy of Rio Grande do Norte, which was then dominated by French buccaneers. Twelve days later, on 6 January, Three Kings' Day for the Catholic Churc, the group started the construction of the fortress that would remain the most prominent landmark in the state of Rio Grande do Norte until today: the Three Kings' Fort.

Following Portugal's recovery of the territory, expedition leader Jerônimo de Albuquerque redefined the limits of that village by the Potengi river on 25 December 1599. There is uncertainty about on which of the two dates the name originated - that 25 December or the one two years earlier - but that was how it all started for Natal (Portuguese for 'Christmas').

The capital of Rio Grande do Norte enjoyed moderate growth until the 20th century, when its innumerous striking beaches and sand dunes were finally surrounded by the proper infrastructure for tourists. The construction of the Via Costeira - a large coastal avenue - in the 1980s was a milestone for the development of Natal, which is now one of the preferred destinations for foreigners visiting Brazil. They come for such wonders as Ponta Negra, Genipabu, Redinha, Pipa, Pirangi and several other spectacular beaches within the city and right next to it.

Natal is proudly known as Cidade do Sol (Sun City) thanks to its faultless tropical climate that provides an annual average of 28º C, and roughly 300 sunny days a year. Its location, as close to Europe as any other city in the Americas, has also boosted international tourism.

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PORTO ALEGRE

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From the subtropical climate to the cultural habits, Porto Alegre is fairly different from the other state capitals in Brazil. Founded in 1742 by immigrants from the Portuguese archipelago of Azores, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul was the destination of thousands of immigrants from Portugal and Italy - like many other cities in Brazil but also from other European countries, particularly Germany and Poland.

Besides that, as the state is located far down the south of Brazil, the gaúchos, as people from Rio Grande do Sul are called, share several cultural traits with their neighbours from Argentina and Uruguay, from the folklore music to the habit of drinking the mate infusion, or chimarrão.

Porto Alegre lies on the eastern bank of the Guaíba River, right at the convergence point of five other rivers, which together form the enormous Lagoa dos Patos (Ducks Lagoon). Its 497 square kilometres are covered with more than one million trees, making it one of the greenest cities in Brazil, despite being the nucleus of the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the country, with roughly four million inhabitants. There are over 1.4 million people living within the boundaries of Porto Alegre.

Temperatures are a lot milder in Porto Alegre than they are in most of the Brazilian capitals, with an annual temperature average of 19.5ºC and cold winters that have historical records of snow and subzero temperatures. The four seasons are very defined, though, and during the summer, temperatures may go well beyond 35ºC. The capital of Rio Grande do Sul is also famous for featuring one of the highest human hevelopment index figures in the whole country.

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RECIFE

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Recife is the capital of the state of Pernambuco, in the north-east of Brazil, and the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area - a conurbation of another 13 cities, including Olinda, with a population of 3.7 million. Because of its economical importance for the region, the city is often called ‘the capital of the North-east'.

The histories of Recife and Olinda run parallel to each other. For several years, Recife (Portuguese for ‘reef') existed essentially as the port that connected the village of Olinda to the Atlantic. The build-up of Recife was profoundly boosted by the presence of the Dutch in the north-east of Brazil. As the Dutch West India Company dominated the region, Maurice of Nassau disembarked in Recife in 1637 and ordered the construction of the bridges, canals and levees of the then-called Mauritsstad (Maurice City), which was the capital of the Dutch colonies in the Americas. Maurice of Nassau's term only lasted until 1644, but Recife inherited its architectural legacy that eventually led to the nickname ‘the Brazilian Venice'.

Some of the most impressive beaches around the state's capital are Boa Viagem, one of the most famous urban beaches of the region, and Porto de Galinhas, which stands among the top tourist destinations in the country, located some 70 kilometres away from Recife.

However, because of the Dutch presence and the several twists of fate over its history, besides the tropical climate and the spectacular beaches that are common to the north-eastern coast of Brazil, the region of Recife is also prolific on historical attributes, such as the Orange Fort and the very city of Olinda, which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1982.

There is no better time to check the traditions of Recife and Olinda closely than carnival, when the rhythms of frevo and maracatu completely take the cities over and rock street parades like the Galo da Madrugada ('Dawn Rooster'), which brings two million people to the streets every year.

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RIO BRANCO

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It was not until 1920 that the state of Acre was officially unified and Rio Branco was declared its capital. Formerly a Bolivian territory in the Amazon Rainforest, by the end of the 19th century the region drew interest from Brazilian seringalista (rubber producer) Neutel Maia, who established a village on the right bank of the Acre River.

While Brazil and Bolivia politically contended for the territory, the village went by a number of different names. The political affairs were finally solved in 1904, when Acre was affirmed as part of the Northern region of Brazil, thanks in great part to the contribution of the Baron of Rio Branco. In 1912, the then-city of Penápolis changed its name to Rio Branco, paying homage to the diplomat.

The 9,233 square kilometres (3,564.9 sq mi) of the Capital Natureza (Nature Capital) is home to 301,398 inhabitants - almost 50 per cent of the population of the state of Acre. Local culture is strongly influenced by the north-east of Brazil, from where the first seringalistas migrated.

The most dazzling attraction of Rio Branco is the omnipresence of the Amazon Rainforest surrounding it and bringing humidity to its equatorial climate. There is no dry season throughout the whole year, and temperatures may reach as high as 40º C, even though it is considered the freshest of the capitals in Brazil's north.

Besides the rainforest and its rich biome, the city offers several interesting landmarks, such as the Joaquim Macedo Boardwalk, which crosses the Acre River to connect the city's two districts, or the Gameleira Tree where Neutel Maia first instituted a village in 1882.

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RIO DE JANEIRO

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On 1 January 1502, the Portuguese explorer Gaspar de Lemos brought his ship into a bay on the Brazilian coast, which is now called Guanabara Bay. Mistakenly confusing the bay with the mouth of a river, he named it Rio de Janeiro - literally translated as the January River.

The city of Rio de Janeiro itself was founded on 1 March 1565 by Estacio de Sa, and was the seat of Brazilian politics from 1764 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia. Nonetheless, Rio remains Brazil's most popular tourist destination and cultural hotspot, besides being the country's second most populous metropolis with just over 6 million residents.

As well as its incomparable natural beauty, Rio's rich history and the cariocas' contagious joie de vivre have all contributed to making the city known and loved across the globe. The highlights of the Rio calendar include the New Year's Eve celebrations and world-famous Carnival. This bustling metropolis, located between a tropical forest and a series of magnificent beaches, is an ideal base for exploring either, while the Cidade Maravilhosa has everything fans of modern urban life could wish for.

Rio de Janeiro is without doubt a city packed with contrasts: its striking colonial architecture recalling a bygone era while its imposing modern buildings represent a bright future. Perhaps the two most iconic sights are the Sugarloaf Mountain and the statue of Christ the Redeemer, which sits atop the Corcovado Mountain, these images winging their way around the world on the front of millions of postcards.

Rio de Janeiro is the very depiction of Brazilian football with all forms of kick abouts taking on its streets, public parks and vast beaches. It comes as no surprise, then, that the city is the birthplace of such world-renowned footballers as Jairzinho, Zico, Ronaldo and Romario, to name but a few.

Four of Brazil's biggest and most popular clubs are based in the Cidade Maravilhosa: Botafogo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and Flamengo, the club with the country's biggest fan base, of over 30 million aficionados.

Football is like a religion for the cariocas, and its temple is undoubtedly the mythical state-owned Maracanã, arguably the most famous and once the largest stadium in the world. Officially named Mário Filho Stadium, after a famous sports journalist, the Maracanã was inaugurated shortly before the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and hosted five of the home country's six matches in that competition, including the fateful 1-2 loss to Uruguay in the final match of the tournament. The resounding defeat on 16 July 1950 - dubbed Maracanazo by world champions Uruguay - was to be forever remembered as a national disaster in Brazil.

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SALVADOR

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When the Portuguese crown first decided to carry out the endeavour of colonising Brazil, the first urban area to be settled in was Salvador, which was established on 29 March 1549. This is one of the reasons why the coastal city in the country's north-east was one of the main poles of slave trade in South America. As a consequence, Salvador grew under deep influence of Portuguese, Afro-descendents and indigenous alike: a situation that contributed to the cultural richness that typifies the city today.

The presence of African elements is all around in Salvador, from the circles of capoeira (a combination of martial art and dance brought to Brazil by African slaves) at the Modelo Martket to the beat of the agogôs and atabaques (percussion instruments) in the rites of the Candomblé - a syncretic religion conceived in Brazil. Such African heritage has awarded Salvador with the nickname Roma Negra (Black Rome).

Salvador's privileged topography is one of its most appealing attributes, with a clear division between the Cidade Baixa and Cidade Alta (Low City and High City), both of which are connected to each other by one of the city's most important sights, the Elevador Lacerda. But the ultimate icon of the city is the Pelourinho, which is its historical centre: its churches and colourful colonial buildings have been a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

Besides being a historical gem and the birthplace of several of Brazil's most significant artists, the capital of the state of Bahia has also grown and developed to become the economic centre in the north-east and the country's third-most populous city, with roughly three million residents.

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SÃO PAULO

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The financial and business hub of Brazil, not only is São Paulo the biggest city in the country, it also ranks among the most populous in the world, with just over 11 million inhabitants within its area of 1,523 square kilometers (588 sq mi). Located in the south-eastern region of the country, it is nicknamed Terra da Garoa (Land of the Drizzle) after its renowned weather instability and plentiful rainfall.

São Paulo's work-oriented vocation attracted huge contingents of immigrants after the turn of the 19th century. As a consequence, the capital of the state of São Paulo is by far the most ethnically diverse city in Brazil, hosting an estimated 100 different ethnicities that have helped put up the country's major economy, responsible for 12,26 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.

Although it is an inevitable business destination, it is not all about work for the paulistanos: São Paulo is a high-profile cultural centre that displays a wide range of options, from various top-flight concerts and exhibitions to a colossal gastronomy scene of more than 12,000 restaurants. Sampa is also bursting with tourist attractions that go way beyond its staggering skyline, such as the Japanese district of Liberdade, the Ibirapuera Park, the several high-profile shopping malls and a charming city centre.

It is no wonder, then, that the metropolitan area of São Paulo is the home for the two busiest airports in South America: Congonhas and the international André Franco Montoro Airport - commonly known as Guarulhos Airport or Cumbica - which flies to 28 different countries.

São Paulo is the very birthplace of Brazilian football, as it was the home of Charles Miller, the British descendent who presented the beautiful game to the city in 1894 and helped its swift propagation throughout the country.

Three of Brazil's most powerful clubs are from São Paulo: old-time rivals Corinthians, Palmeiras and São Paulo, who combine for an impressive 14 Campeonato Brasileiro titles. Both Corinthians and São Paulo have lifted the FIFA Club World Club trophy, in 2000 and 2005 respectively. Other traditional clubs like Portuguesa de Desportos and Juventus complete the football-mad panorama of the metropolis.

São Paulo's home ground, the Morumbi, is the city's biggest stadium and was one of the venues of the maiden FIFA Club World Club, in 2000, while the city-owned Pacaembu, which also houses a phenomenal Football Museum, hosted six matches at the 1950 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

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Works on Curitiba's Stadium:

February

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March

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April

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May

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After the renovation, the stadium will look like this:

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About the chances of each city in the announcement (5/31) i think that 10 cities are almost certain in the 12 vacant places:

Rio de Janeiro

São Paulo

Belo Horizonte

Brasília

Porto Alegre

Curitiba

Salvador

Fortaleza

Recife

Manaus

These 4 cities are fithing for the last 2 (I bet on Natal and Cuiabá):

Florianópolis

Natal

Campo Grande

Cuiabá

And these cities have few chances:

Rio Branco

Belém

Goiânia

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Some stadium projects:

City: Belo Horizonte

Stadium Name: Mineirão Stadium

Capacity: 70.000

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City: Brasília

Stadium Name: Mané Garrincha Stadium

Capacity: 76.000

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City: Campo Grande

Stadium Name: Morenão Stadium

Capacity: 44.000

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