The group stages are coming to a close and the excitement of the knockout stages is kicking off on Saturday. We're knee deep in to the greatest competition in the world and, England aside, what an incredible competition it's been so far!
I'm in Rio filming my World Cup experiences for KICKTV and interviewing some sporting legends for Adidas. With the luxury of being on the ground and amongst such talent I couldn't help but share my experiences with you.
My World Cup journey started during the confederations cup last year. We came out to scout locations and test the water, filming as we went. The protests were in their peak at the time and despite the channel being sport focused we couldn't ignore the obvious story. The Brazilians were displeased and in truth they still are but the protest that saw over 300'000 hit the streets at any one time have died down and the city is relatively calm. Brazil's national team however unwittingly carry a form of distraction technique on their shoulders - Lose and the protests will most likely begin again.
Brazil came into this competition as many people's favourites to take the World Cup by storm. They started slowly against Croatia, but their young stars Neymar and Oscar sparkled just enough to pick up three points for them. In brasil's second game they struggled to break down a tough Mexico side and were starting to worry fans but in their game against Cameroon they stepped up the pace to win 4-1. A display that showed every team in the competition exactly why they should fear the 5 times world champions.
Having won their group, Brazil will face chile in the knockout stages. This should prove to be a fiery and exhilarating South American clash. Chile are on form and if Brazil can pass this test confidence will be sky high.
For the last two Brazil matches I headed far away from the touristic fan zones and went to a place specifically for locals in a closed street in Tijuca - Rio called Alzirão. You won't see many tourists here and the colours and atmosphere truly has to be seen to be believed. Women and children join the party and intact make up a majority of football fans dancing in the street and singing the national anthem alongside their players on the big screen. For Brazil right now the atmosphere is electric!
England on the other hand have a very different story. Their time is already up. They talked a great game prior to the tournament, but when it came down to it the side just couldn't deliver.
The team battled hard and despite keeping hold of the ball they didn't have the quality to beat Italy, Uruguay or even Costa Rica. We have dropped out at the group stage of the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Spain has suffered a similar fate, I was at the Maracana to see World Cup holders Spain get knocked out by a very exciting Chile side.
Watching a World Cup game at the Maracanã is unbelievable experience - especially when the stadium is full of buzzing chile fans. With a team full of talent such as Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez why wouldn't they be excited! It will be very interesting to see how they get on against the Brazilians this weekend!
You can watch my World Cup experience on www.YouTube.com/KickTV