Features, World Cup

The World Cup of Adventures – Group B

The World Cup isn’t so far away now, and us here at Geronigo HQ couldn’t be more excited! Whilst England have seen their efforts of World Cup glory come to an early conclusion ever since their 1966 triumph, there’s plenty of footballing action for the nation to look forward to at this year’s instalment of the World Cup in Russia.

Just in case you didn’t already know, the action officially kicks off on the 14th June, with hosts Russia participating in the opening fixture against Saudi Arabia on that day. To play our part in the run up, Geronigo’s ‘World Cup of Adventures’ series will show you what each competing nation boasts in terms of action and adventure on their home soil.

We’ve already given you our run through of Group A. But, in order to continue the build up, here’s our run through of Group B – Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Iran.

Portugal

Back at the UEFA Euro 2016 competition, Portugal stormed to the title against all odds. Throughout the entire competition, they were only able to win within 90 minutes just once, meaning it came as a bit of a surprise when they won the trophy against hosts France! Currently, they are 4th in the FIFA World Rankings table, which means they are the highest ranked team in Group B. With players such as Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks, they might just be a force to be reckoned with in Russia.

With fine weather year round and a plethora of amazing beaches, Portugal is renowned for its several amazing surfing hotspots. This makes it a great destination if you’re looking to catch some gnarly waves! Just last year, Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa was able to break the world record for the biggest wave ever surfed – 80ft to be exact! This took place in Nazaré on the Atlantic coast of Portugal – a surfing spot known for its gigantic waves. If you’re after some awesome action on the water, this is the place for you!

Spain

Over the years, Spain have most definitely been a dominant force within International football. However, in more recent years they haven’t fared quite as well. In the last edition of the World Cup in 2014, they were eliminated at the group stage, and didn’t perform much better at Euro 2016 either – leaving the competition in the round of 16 against Italy. This time round, Spain will look to bounce back. With the magnificent David de Gea between the sticks, and promising young players such as Marco Asensio and Isco in their squad, they might be able to do just that.

Spain certainly has plenty to offer for those looking for their next action fix. If you’re a true adrenaline junkie, then taking part in a skydive in Empuriabrava is the perfect activity for you! As you ascend to 4000 metres in a light aircraft, it’s then time to take the plunge back down towards solid ground – with one minute of freefall until you reach 1500 metres. There’s some spectacular views for you to enjoy on the way down too! This one definitely isn’t for the feint-hearted, but if you think you can handle it, then this is an activity that shouldn’t be missed!

You don’t need to keep your adventure in mainland Spain either – the Canary Islands are the perfect destination for those who want to catch some rays whilst immersing themselves in some absolutely stunning scenery. A perfect way to admire the views is to head straight to Mount Teide, Tenerife – known as ‘the top of Spain’, with a height of 3,718m! Here, you’ll be able to climb on board a quad bike for a truly action-packed day out that you’ll remember for years to come!

Credit: skydiveempuriabrava.com

Morocco

Morocco clinched their World Cup 2018 place after finishing top of Africa Group C. This marks their return to the competition after an absence of 20 years, with their last World Cup appearance in France 1998, in which they were knocked out in the group stage. They are currently ranked 42nd in the FIFA World Rankings table, which means they might struggle against European giants Portugal and Spain. National team captain Medhi Benatia, who currently plies his trade with Italian giants Juventus, will look to lead his team to glory – but it will definitely be huge task to overcome difficult opposition in the group stage.

In the action and adventure department, Morocco is a fantastic place to visit, with plenty of tourist attractions located across the nation. One such activity which is a must-do for visitors to Morocco is a bike tour across Marrakech – the country’s capital. Throughout your action-packed journey on two wheels, you’ll not only have plenty of amazing views to enjoy, you’ll also be able to indulge yourself in local food along the way – the perfect combination of exploration and cuisine!

Credit: tripadvisor.com

Iran

Led by Carlos Queiroz, former assistant to legendary ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, the Iran national football team have qualified for a second consecutive World Cup competition for the first time in their history. Back in Brazil 2014, they finished last in their group with only one point. This time round, they will hope to perform far better. But, much like Morocco, they will probably find that difficult with the likes of Portugal and Spain being difficult opposition for them in the group stage.

True adventure seekers certainly won’t be disappointed with a visit to the capital of Iran – Tehran, where there’s plenty of action to be had. Whilst the country is renowned for its scorching summers with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius, Iran is actually an excellent skiing and hiking/rock climbing destination. Tochal, which isn’t too far away from Tehran, is a ski resort which is located on the Alborz mountain range. If you were looking to take to the slopes on your trip abroad, then this is a great location. Or, if you prefer to take part in rock climbing, then there’s some great views of the Tehran skyline for you to admire once you reach the top!

Credit: iranlastminute.com

Final Thoughts

Anything other than Spain and Portugal progressing to the knockout stages would be a huge surprise. However, stranger things have most definitely happened. Who knows, either Morocco or Iran could be the surprise package of the tournament, or perhaps both!

Whilst each country in Group B has plenty to offer in terms of adrenaline activities, top spot has to go to Spain – with plenty of outdoor activities for adrenaline junkies of all ages to enjoy. The unparalleled views offered from great heights both in the mainland and elsewhere means they are deserving winners, although Portugal most definitely comes close if you’re a fan of action on the water! But, for those who fancy something a bit more laid back and are a massive foodie, then a bike tour in Marrakech might just be for you!

Well, there’s Group B for you folks! Now that we’ve established the winner of adrenaline activities, it’s time to prepare for all of the action on the football pitch. It remains to be seen who’ll get their hands on the trophy, but you’ll have to tune in to find out who will be the victorious nation!

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