Embraced by the Amazon rainforest, Manaus might be the most exotic of the host cities. Sammya Cury is the guest writer sharing their thoughts with The Wee G as part of the World Cup’s Host Cities Series.
Manaus is the capital of Brazilian’s largest state, Amazon. The amazing world-famous rainforest covers around 90% of Amazon’s area. I believe Manaus was chosen as host city because its beauty and importance to the country as we don’t have any famous football team or a big tradition with sports.
The surprising victory against other strong candidates like Belém, capital of Para state, which have a better sports tradition, can be attributed to a good marketing campaign. Manaus created and “sold” the brand “Green World Cup – The Amazon’s rainforest capital.”
Manaus has 2 million inhabitants. It’s a city that breathes modernisation and historical architecture; a heritage of the “rubber golden era”, period that brought immense prosperity to the city in the 19th century.
The 60’s brought industrialisation to the city with the creation of Manaus’s Free Economic Zone and the consequently implementation of the industrial district, which has the best and most productive industries in the world concentrated in a city that thrives development.
The challenges of building architect and urbanism structures that were up to FIFA’s standards, in the middle of the Amazon forest, were enormous. However, Manaus and its leaders have managed to transform strategic points in the city into touristic areas all in the name of our passion for football.
Manaus will be an amazing host city during the World Cup. Tourists will find that the city has a unique culture and embraces the miscegenation of the people from the urban areas, native Indians and people coming from other states.
The city has the beautiful Teatro Amazonas, heritage of the neoclassical architecture of the golden age of rubber. In the 19th century Manaus was known as the “Paris of the Tropics”. Today the most beautiful and famous operas in the world come to perform at our famous Theatre which is considered one of the 7 wonders of the world, accordingly to Brazilians.
In addition to the Amazon opera’s culture we also have the popular culture of the Boi Bumba, that happen in the city of Parintins, an island that welcomes tourists in late June for the biggest popular party in the world, infecting everyone with its musicality and exuberance.
Nature is what brings people to Manaus. The city is the starting point if you are interested in ecological tours that will present you to the Amazon rainforest, to our ecological parks, or take you in boat trips to the Meeting of Waters which is the confluence between the Rio Negro, a river with dark (almost black) water, and the sandy-coloured Amazon River or River Solimoes. A guaranteed unique and spectacular experience!
For all those reasons Manaus was the perfect choice to be one of the host cities of this year’s World Cup. The Green World Cup City, holder of the world’s largest rainforest brings an exotic and challenging contrast to the world of football.
The stadium Arena Amazon hosted four games during the World Cup.
Good luck to all 32 teams who will visit our country!