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Did I read that right? Four games? Four games? If today’s games have half the excitement of Spain v Holland yesterday I’m not sure I’ll make the distance. I’m listening to Test Match Special to calm myself.

The day started with more terrible refereeing with the disallowed goals in the Mexico v Cameroon match and then another dodgy penalty awarded to Spain. Here’s a great 360 degree image of the Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador.

Then Holland took them to pieces. This image shows the pattern of play during the game:


Analysis of the pattern of play

And then there is the ridiculous goal line technology which they have obviously spent a lot of money on and want to use at every opportunity but is there really a need to use it when the ball ripples the back of the net or when we can see it clearly has not crossed the line?

Today we have Colombia v Greece, Uruguay v Costa Rica (which I was going to go to until I realised three days was not long enough to drive to the game), England v Italy (squeaky bum time) and Ivory Coast v Japan which will show us the final two teams England might face in the second round if they progress.

Here’s  good article by my friend Mark Hillary describing his experiences of the opening night of the World Cup. Mark has written a book called Reality Check which is a good starting point for anyone wanting to know more about Brazil.

Another good friend of mine, Andy Martin, who was at the Spain v Holland match in Salvador yesterday, writes a very popular blog called The Book is on the Table and he was even invited to take part in a documentary series about immigrants living in Brazil. Andy’s episode screens on Monday 16th June at 7.30pm on TV Brasil.

If you are interested in the economy of Brazil and the big differences between the rich states like Sao Paulo and some of the poorer states, The Economist has created an interesting interactive map which compares the GDP and population of the various states in Brazil with comparable economies and populations of countries around the world.

Have you see the story about the British guy who has cycled right across Brazil from Porto Alegre in the south all the way up to Manaus in time for England’s game today.

cyclist Andy Smith

A Bradford FC supporter, Andy Smith, has cycled all over Brazil