RIO DE JANEIRO —
The scene at the Delirio Carioca Bar, tucked away on a side road behind the Copacabana Beach, was replicated all over Rio de Janeiro. Friends and neighbors gathered round televisions on street corners or in what they call “pe sumo bars” — it literally means dirty foot bar in a nod to being homely and unpretentious — out in the open air as they summoned all the goodwill they could muster in the name of the Selecao. It wasn’t a cross-section of life. It was all life; From babies to grandparents and everyone in between, decked out in yellow and green and drenched with a heady combination of hope and apprehension.
Buses by the side of the road were parked up, bumper to bumper, stalled for the duration of the game as drivers got out to join in this vital communal moment. There was nobody to take anywhere anyway. Everyone stopped. Friday in Rio was an official World Cup day. A national holiday is declared either when Brazil play a home game, or when there is a World Cup match on at the Maracana. So this was a double reason for the city to give itself in completely to this tournament.