With only ten days to go until England take to the pitch to play Italy in their first World Cup Group fixture, I thought it be good to research Manuas, a place of high altitude in northern Brazil. This is the place where England begin their quest for world glory. But what’s there to visit, what’s the stadium like, and finally why is it going to be so difficult to play football there?
Manuas is located in the amazon rainforest, with transportation to the state apical only available via boat or plane. The culture of Manuas, like much of urban Brazil, is centred around native tribes. There are many things to visit in Manuas, including the Amazonas Opera House and the CIGs Zoo. For travelling fans, there are things to keep you entertained before the football.
The Arena Amazonia is a newly built stadium for the 2014 Fifa World Cup. The stadium has a capacity of 44,000 and has caused Manaus to be refurbished with a new airport for the fans and safety regulations implimented in the northern state. The stadium has a modern design and looks stunning in my opinion.
Roy Hodgson, the England manager, has critisised Manuas being a location for a football match due to the unplayable humidity the amazon conditions convey, and Hodgson believes European teams will struggle to cope with the extreme heat. England were then drawn into Group D alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica and have to play Italy in Manuas on June 14, karma? Fate? All we know is that the footballing gods seemed to have picked up Hodgsons comments and condemned him and his team for it.
England’s training base is in Rio, around 5 hours away from Manuas and that means a long journey for the three lions to get up to the amazon. It is going to be difficult. Italy are a good team with a steady defence and powerful forward attack, and England will need to be on top game to defeat their European rivals. I don’t know how Italy have prepared for Manuas, but the conditions are definitely going to play a huge factor in the result in 10 days time.