Marc Lewis #WC2014 Diary

Germany crowned world champions

14 July 2014

Getting a better view

13 July 2014

Inside Rochina

12 July 2014

Through to the final

11 July 2014

Brazilian reaction

9 July 2014

The reason we're all here

6 July 2014

Brazil are through to the last four

5 July 2014

Lunch with Jimmy Tau

3 July 2014

Jimmy has landed!

2 July 2014

Cannot believe we are halfway through the World Cup and the day has FINALLY arrived - Jimmy Tau is in Brazil!!! Myself and Christa decided to surprise him by waiting outside his hotel. We also made a full length video of me stalking him.

Jimmy will be submitting stories for EWN, so go check out his page!

Cheers São Paulo

1 July 2014

Goodbye Concrete Jungle, Hello Beach!

30 June 2014

It's been an eventful two and a half weeks in São Paulo.

When we arrived, Christa and I immediately looked at each other thinking "this is going to be interesting". You wouldn't describe São Paulo as a pretty city. It is as cold and as harsh as concrete jungles come.

With time, we slowly started to break down its grey exterior and work our way thorough some of its inner beauties. The food markets on Sundays are quite spectacular. I'm not usually one for markets because I feel all the goods are just gimmicky rubbish, but here - whilst there is certainly still gimmicky rubbish don't get me wrong - you get the feeling that there is a real honesty to the people, a real love for what they're selling; they're not just there to flog some of granny's goods.

The food at the markets was exceptional and so reasonably priced. After stuffing ourselves to capacity, we decided the cake we bought would have to be a take-away, which made for an excellent snack later in the evening.

There's a beautiful park in Paulista Avenue, quite close to where we stayed, which was this amazing hidden gem. Once inside, you felt like you were transported into NeverLand. Just metres away from the tall, cold buildings, was this amazing park with running trails, bird life and an outdoor gym. It really took my breath away.

My favourite place in the city though was another hideaway, called Sunset Park. It advertises the best view of the city skyline and it doesn't disappoint. Hundreds of people, especially on the weekends, bring their guitars, dogs, kids, cooler boxes and blankets and sit on top of this beautiful hill. With a drink in hand, no electronics in sight and the sun dropping behind you, it was a moment to cherish.

Yes there have been negatives. Like the seemingly endless amount of protests which has seen us film homeless people, children and very angry young adults caught up in war against Fifa. "Nao vai ter Copa" (No to the Cup) is still ringing in my head. Of course we must mention Luis Suarez right? Ok. Luis Suarez. Enough has been written about him.

Once you remove the small percentage of protestors and focus on the rest of the the nation, you quickly realise how crazy these football fans are. In South Africa, we think we love our soccer, our PSL and our national team, but there is just an increased level of intensity with Brazilians. It's like the beautiful game is pumping through their veins. Watching locals' reaction to the Chilean penalty shootout was almost comical. Gasps and screams were heard as fans watched through gaps in their fingers. With every match that follows, that intensity is going to increase, making for some exciting viewing and humorous filming.

We're off to Rio de Janeiro next to cover the second half of the tournament, and I have a feeling our time there is going to be even more magical.

The difference between news
gathering in SA vs Brazil

24 June 2014

On the left, traffic/sport journalist from EWN (me). On the right, ‘Hercules waiting for an apocalypse’ journalist from Brazil. He has knee pads, a bulletproof vest, helmet and a gas mask.

Protests and play,
the 2014 World Cup story

24 June 2014

My arrangement with Christa

20 June 2014

I made a deal with my multimedia producer before going to Brazil – I will cook and she will do the laundry.

Beauty vs Culture

18 June 2014

It's been a long week in Brazil thus far. We've witnessed one Brazil victory, a hammering of Spain and an embarrassment of Portugal. What else? Protests, the Arena De São Paulo and dozens of confused locals trying to understand Christa's frustration in the various shopping aisles

One might not regard São Paulo as a beautiful city, but what it lacks in aesthetics, it certainly makes up for in culture. Graffiti on buildings and street art on the walls tell a deeper story, a story of struggling locals trying to express themselves and make their voices heard. The people are incredibly friendly, and whilst their enormous lack of English makes issues difficult at times, they are never without a smile.

From a footballing perspective, the fans, as one would imagine, live and breathe the sport here in Brazil. That opening night in São Paulo was incredible. The route to the stadium was jam packed six hours before kick-off with people waving flags, singing songs and blowing horns, never tiring

The performance from Thiago Silva's men was, whilst not incredibly convincing, exactly what the doctor ordered. During the build up to the competition, the country was marred by angry protests, locals infuriated by the "waste of money" spent on the tournament. Since Brazil's opening victory, the anger seems to have subsided and changed to love and respect, urging the most widely recognised football team on the planet to win another world title.

One week down in World Cup land, three more to go.

The Sights of Brazil

17 June 2014

My latest Instagram images

13 June 2014

Day 1: My Brazilian odyssey begins

13 June 2014

The second you step off the pan in São Brazil you know you are in a World Cup. The airport was packed with visiting tourists, who, to their credit, travelled in their national colours. Some opted to travel in their teams jersey, while some Mexican fans went all the way, traveling in sombreros and fake mustaches.

Airport staff were all kitted out in the famous yellow jersey of Brazil, bringing back memories of "Football Fridays" in South Africa. The football players themselves, are on the cover of every advertisement you can imagine, David Luiz and Neymar in particular, seem to be the crowd favourites.

We soon caught a taxi to our apartment, and let me just say the taxi drivers here in a Sao Paulo make South Africa's look like learner drivers. I have never been in a car which has hooted, been hooted at, and chopped and changed lanes as much as that. It seems very aggressive, but then when you notice that's how everyone drives, you realise it's a cultural thing, everyone is just in a hurry.

Downtown São Paulo is rich in history. High rise buildings all offer beautiful sunset views, if not some broken windows as well. Regardless of the condition of the building, best you believe there is a Brazilian flag hanging off every single one of them. There is plenty of graffiti on the walls with some beautiful soccer murals displayed along the main roads.

En route to the Arena De São Paulo, EWN online journalist Chritsa Eybers and I followed a lead and rushed off to the Tatuape Metro station after reports of protests surfaced.

Upon our arrival, protesters, dressed in black with masks over their faces, attempted to jump the turnstiles at the station. Police were alerted and acted immediately. More protesters arrived, waving black and red flags, singing anti-police and anti-World Cup songs, chanting “Nao vai ter Copa” (No to the Cup). Some protesters became too aggressive for the police’s liking, forcing them to bring out their batons and shields. After about two hours of chanting, pushing and threatening, the protesters finally subsided, but only after one opted to get up on stilts to make his point.

Despite the protests, the opening match of the tournament began after what many are terming a dull opening ceremony. I’ve never cared much for Jennifer Lopez so her appearance was somewhat lost on me, and I’ve never been one for opening acts.

The starting lineups were announced with both teams boasting powerful lineups, but it was the starting XI of Brazil that really stood out. Youth, speed, aggression, experience and flair all rolled up into one team.

They got off to the worst possible start with Real Madrid’s Marcelo accidentally turning the ball into the back of his own net. The Arena De São Paulo was silenced. Eighteen long minutes passed before the home fans had something to cheer about, with Neymar finding the net with a long-range effort that came off the post.

The Barcelona striker wasn’t done yet. In the 71st minute, Fred was brought down in the box - the referee wasting no time in pointing to the spot. Up stepped Neymar again, sending the country into a frenzy as Brazil led for the first time in the match. Oscar put the game to bed in the 90th with a wonderful solo effort, wrapping up a 3-1 win for the hosts on opening night.

Objective achieved for the Samba Kings.

Getting ready to mix business
and some pleasure

6 June 2014

It's hard to believe that there are less than ten days to go until the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. I can distinctly recall the 200 hundred day countdown. Where have the days gone? Especially after covering the 2010 World Cup for Eyewitness News, the thought of 2014 seemed light years away. But it's back, Philip is back, the players are back, the flags and whistles are back. But this time, instead of blowing vuvuzelas, it's time to samba!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. There are two things that scare me in life... Well, petrify me actually. Needles and flying. Today I went to get my Yellow Fever shot, which, I've been told, is a prerequisite when going to Brazil. The lovely nurse pulled out this massive needle, and moments before jabbing it into my arm, promised me it would hurt. She lied. I'm man enough to admit I let out a little yelp when the needle went in.

So now, you have a sports journalist who is afraid to fly, jetting off to Brazil, and in doing so, facing his second biggest fear, getting stabbed by huge medical needles. I'm off to a great start.

Few will have any sympathy for me though, and rightly so. Heck, I wouldn't feel sorry for me either. Why is it that I wouldn't even feel sorry for myself? Because I'm off to go and cover the biggest sporting spectacle in the world, in what many call its origin, the home of the Samba Kings: Brazil.

Make sure you stay connected on the radio, on the website and all over social media to get every single detail to come out of Brazil.

About Marc

Marc Lewis is an award-winning EWN sports journalist who’ll be bringing us daily updates on his experiences at Brazil 2014. Having joined the EWN Sport team in 2010, Marc’s name was quickly cemented in the upper echelons of SA sports reporting for his work on the 2010 Soccer World Cup where he covered matches and side-line stories during the tournament. He’s since become a household name for his reporting and on-air presenting on 94.7 Highveld Stereo.
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