Ronaldo's got it all mapped out – cross fingers
A comedy show mocking Brazil's preparations has gone down well
Saturday 13 October 2012
There was a united front on show at Stamford Bridge this week and for once John Terry was nowhere to be seen. At least in public it was a united front – sitting side by side at the Leaders in Football conference, faces stretched by determined smiles of reassurance, were the organisers of Brazil's World Cup and senior Fifa figures. "Will Brazil be ready?" said Thierry Weil, Fifa's marketing director. "Yes, they will be ready." It was not possible to see if his fingers were crossed.
Sitting alongside Weil, Ronaldo nodded. Now a member of the organising committee, the former Brazil striker urged the audience to "look at the big picture". "We have mapped out the infrastructure for the football," he said.
That, though, is part of the concern: it is a little late to be mapping out.
Back home there is less conviction that all will be all right come opening night in 2014. Earlier this month a comedy show mocking the country's stuttering preparations began a national tour. It has been well received. Later this month the sports minister Aldo Rebelo will deliver the latest government report into the spending of an estimated £7bn on the infrastructure to host the tournament – the country is also preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The previous one in May did not make comfortable reading, although it was a marked improvement on its predecessor, published in September 2011.
Things are heading in the right direction, but are they doing so quickly enough? The answer would seem to depend on whether you prefer your glass half full or half empty.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Champions League draw: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City learn group stage fate
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''