2014 World Cup Kicks Off with Brazil vs Croatia – by Mark J. Rebilas

Brazil vs Croatia - World Cup

A Brazil fan waves a Brazil flag in the grandstands prior to the game against Croatia in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians.

Phoenix-based photographer Mark J. Rebilas traveled to Brazil to cover the 2014 FIFA World Cup and shares photos of the opening game.

After a long travel itinerary consisting of Phoenix to Charlotte and then to Miami , I boarding a 777 to Sao Paulo, Brazil for one of the final sporting events on my career bucket list, the FIFA World Cup!

Upon arrival in Brazil I encountered the customs line from HELL!

By the time I cleared customs (about 1.5 hours) I caught my shuttle ride to the hotel where I would catch a media shuttle to the opening match between Brazil and Croatia.

One problem, we arrived at the hotel at 11:05am… near minutes after the only shuttle to the stadium departed at 11. Dammit!

Luckily three other journalists had also missed the shuttle so we shared a cab to a train station that would take us directly to the stadium…. if you consider a two mile walk in the middle of countless people pulling my roller bag filled with gear since all the warnings have the fear of being robbed and shot in my head!

After getting my credentials and finding the massive media room, it was time to get my photo position for the game.

That’s where I learned a valuable lesson on World Cup seating assignments.

FIFA gives out the seat assignments in three groups.

Group 1: This group is comprised of all the photographers who are working for a publication from the country of one of the two teams playing (Brazil and Croatia media)

Group 2: This group consists of photographers who are working for a publication from a country that has a team in the World Cup. (Since I am from USA and they’re in the World Cup I was in Group 2)

Group 3: This group consists of countries who don’t have a team representing them in World Cup.

Once you determine your group then it’s first come first serve for your position (not photo position) in the line.

Continue reading and see more photos on Mark’s blog.

Brazil vs Croatia - World Cup

Brazil forward Neymar (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against Croatia in the first half of the opening game of the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians.

Brazil vs Croatia - World Cup

Brazil forward Fred (9) falls to the ground as he reacts after being touched by Croatia defender Dejan Lovren (6) in the second half during the opening game of the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians.

Brazil vs Croatia - World Cup

Overall view of writers and members of the media in the press tribune during the match between Brazil against Croatia in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians.

Brazil vs Croatia - World Cup

Croatia fans in the grandstands against Brazil in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup at Arena Corinthians.

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