My Trip To London, Seeing Brazil & My Big Surprise


So I am just back from my trip to London & I loved it. I will now share my experiences with you.

Day One – Saturday 26th of March:

I wake up after only four hours sleep I was up at seven to catch a flight to Gatwick for 8.55 am. Now my flight was pretty much taken up with men in kilts, no guessing where they where off to, but out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of someone I recognised… Turned out it was Rangers left back Sasa Papac! I tried to stick close to him, for an interview on the plane but then he queue jumped & as I am polite & British I couldn’t follow. Nothing of note on the flight there apart from the three guys around me talking about their latest conquests, not knowing any of the Brazilian players & drinking beers & cider at 9am. Landed after & hour, then got train to London.

The day of rioting went passed me unnoticed, I had a nice lunch in a pub near by Victoria station before heading to my hotel in Green Lanes. I arrive there & get a warm welcome, then I am informed my room is not in this building but around the corner. My room was very dull but it had a bed, toilet, fridge & three mirrors, did I need anything else?

So after having a twenty minute rest & finding my bearings I go out in search of The Emirates Stadium. It is no where near 3 miles from my hotel, at least 5! After a few wrong turns & mishaps I stumbled across Highbury, I loved the idea & I loved it in reality, if I could live in London I would want to live there. I did feel as though I really shouldn’t take photos, especially when I women was looking out her window at me but hey ho call the cops…

Then to my relief the Emirates was only a few minutes walk away. I thought I would have seen it for miles but it seems to have been built on a slope & no visible from where I was coming at it from. Once there it is an awesome sight. The murals of past & present players emblazoned on the stadium does create a wonderful awe inspiring effect, on me anyway.

So after walking around it & helping an Italian couple by taking a photo of them outside, perhaps not the most romantic  picture, I was off back to the hotel hoping to find somewhere for dinner on my way. The walk home was eventful, I got lost in Finsbury Park twice, I got accosted by a rather large & mature prostitute asking if I was “looking for nice, sexy time” as a true gent I just quickened my step. Then after passing a lot of takeaways I decide like a true Scotsman to get a Kebab. I went into the nearest place to my hotel, a few blocks down & ordered there house speciality ‘A Chicken Doner’ it was lovely, tender & came with rice bread, salads & dip, better than any of the crap in Glasgow all for £5. I went to bed happy & without an ageing prostitute.

Day Of The Game – Sunday 27th of March :

So after sleeping in the springiest (I may have made that name up) mattress in the world, I had breakfast, got changed & at 11am decided wander up to the Stadium for the early atmosphere. I decided to do battle with the park once again as it was sunny & this time I won! It was a great jinky move that saved me time, it was very nice to see so many activities, like baseball, American football, karate, cycling & of course proper football. I reached then end of the park & there where two pubs taken over by the Tartan Army. I felt a bit like an odd one out as I had no kilt but that would end up being a blessing in disguise, although I had Pringle boxers & a Radio Clyde T-shirt on! As I took a turn into the street leading me past Highbury & towards the Emirates I started spotting the Brazilians & it was Carnival time. They were out in there famous Yellow & Green colours & mixing in with the Tartan around them. I then noticed the food stalls, not because I was hungry but because they were in peoples front gardens!!

Upon entering the stadium I needed the toilet, odd for me to say this on the blog I know, but the toilets in the Emirates were the cleanest I have ever seen in a football ground, one in Scotland had no roof & seagull flying overhead. On a wall inside there was a Hat-Trick heroes hall of fame for Arsenal & after looking at Ian Wright & Theirry Henry dominating it for past two decades I had a wee chuckle at Carlos Vela being there, not sure he will get there again. Now here is my view from my lovely cushioned seat, which I never sat on for the full ninety minutes.

I have to say the pre match music was predictable, we had ‘500 miles’, ‘Loch Lomond’, ‘Caledonia’, ‘Rio’, ‘Copa-Cabana’ & that track from the Nike advert where they play football in the airport. They they played a great tribute of Ronaldo, as you all know I loved him as a player. As the stadium filled out the players warmed up, the Scots were out first & out for a lot longer than the Brazilians. The cockerel hair of Neymar caught the attention.

Then we were ready for the main event or so I thought, suddenly the a special guest was announced & I almost wet myself when RONALDO walk on!

He took a bow, waved goodbye to his European fans & got a standing ovation. He then met the players from both teams & I caught the historic meeting between Ronaldo & Gary Caldwell!!!

Now for the game itself. For a review of the Brazilian players I advise you checkout Snap Kaka Pop as he excellently rates them all. For a tactical review then look no further than the man in the tactical know at Zonal Marking as I might be biased.

I really enjoyed the game as the atmosphere was superb by all sets of fans. The Scottish side did not attack to often but come on we are playing Brazil! Kenny Miller had a thankless task but still got in Lucio’s face & the big Brazilian moaned all game. Scott Brown shows it not just El Hadji Diouf he winds up as he got into Andre Santos face after just minutes into the game. Dani Alves was a menace on the right for Brazil, Whittaker was poor a tracking the runs but in fairness Alves didn’t stop. Wasn’t impressed by Jadson or Elano too be honest & 18 year old Lucas a stalky, strong & skilful attacker seemed better than both when he came on. Damiao was unfortunate to get the ‘you are no Ronaldo’ chants as he tried to make his presence felt.

Now for the players in each team getting spoken about pre-match.

That was the Charlie Adam I remember from Rangers. Failed to make so many easy passes. Having a shot heading straight over the bar & getting caught by faster players while he had the ball. Yet still managed a nut meg on a Brazilian. I hope this is just a blip but Liverpool fans take note.

Now for the man I wrote about last week, Neymar. Did I boo him? No. Did the Tartan Army around me? Yes. Not because he is black but because of his overreactions, diving & play acting. Simple.

Now as a player… What a player. His first goal was absolutely sublime, he used the Scottish defender as his wall to fool Allan McGregor as the Scots goalie had little time to react to the wonderfully placed shot. His penalty was from a wonderfully composed talent, sending McGregor the wrong way. Now what I wasn’t expecting was his constant energy & his work rate off the ball pressing the Scottish defenders. He is certainly a world class talent in the making & any European side will be lucky to get him.

So full time 2-0 Brazil, no real complaints to be honest.

I then had the fortune of meeting Jack Lang (Snap Kaka Pop) & Michael Cox (Zonal Marking) We arrived at a pub called ‘The Famous Cock’ which had signs saying ‘No Scottish Fans Allowed!’ now I was a bit unsure about this but I was desperate for a drink & to chat to with the lads, so I let Jack do the talking. Pub was quiet so we had a great chat & where joined by Rupert Fryer of the impressive South American Football site. It was a delight to talk to these guys all friendly & very knowledgeable on all things football. I was not the only Scot in the pub as comedian Kevin Bridges sneaked in to, I asked if he was no longer Scottish & he said ‘Look at my Brazilian complexion’. After our wee bloggers meet, I walked back to the hotel & picked up a wonderful Calzone pizza for dinner. An exhausting but fabulous day. Although I could have done with out members of the Tartan Army showing the Brazilian ladies their pasty,pale bums under their kilts!


Day After – Monday 28th of March:

I will try & keep this short & sweet as I have been going on a bit & boring you already. I checked out of the hotel & decided to go & visit White Hart Lane… Nothing sweet about the outside of that stadium, reason for the small picture.

After that unsuccessful trip I headed back to the centre of London walked through Hyde Park, found a pub for a few drinks & then went off hunting for a place for dinner. Then on Wilton Road around the corner from Victoria Station I seen a Brazilian restaurant, I thought what a fitting end to my visit. Turns out it was a Churrascaria called Preto. It turns out a Churrascaria is like an all you can eat buffet, with a huge salad & cooked food bar & then every 3 minutes a chef comes round with BBQ’d meat piling it on to your plate. I was lovely but so filling, I said to the chef ‘No more’ he said ‘But this is the best Brazilian Beef’, I couldn’t refuse.

Loved the trip, people I met were great. Stadium was superb, finally seeing Brazil was bliss, London as always was kind to me & I want more football breaks now I have caught the bug!!!

3 Responses to “My Trip To London, Seeing Brazil & My Big Surprise”

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  2. Tell me more about how you got into a pub that said no Scottish fans. I know you had no Scotland kit on, but radio clyde might have given a wee hint of your heritage, with your accent a dead giveaway.

  3. Haha I had a jumper & jacket on over the T-Shirt & I let the English guys do the talking.

    Bar people didn’t seem to care & I kept my Scottish notes in my pocket!

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