You know the drill by now – it’s Friday, which means that it’s time for Geronigo’s World Cup of Adventures! For those of you who are new to this blog series, let’s quickly re-cap what this is all about. We’re building up to the World Cup this summer by highlighting a different group each week both in terms of their footballing chances and also what each country has to offer when it comes to action and adventure activities!
Since we covered Group E last week, it’s time to move onto Group F which consists of Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea. Let’s go!
Legends of the footballing world, Germany are certainly no strangers to this elite footballing tournament. After they lost to France in the semi-finals of Euro 2016, many predicted that the golden era of German football was coming to an end. However, they couldn’t have been more wrong, as Die Mannschaft managed to qualify for the World Cup with an unbeaten campaign as they managed to score 43 goals along the way. Not bad. With strengths in pretty much every area of the pitch, Germany are serious contenders to lift the trophy this year.
Their footballing game may be water-tight, but what is Germany like for those who seek action and adventure? As you’d expect, pretty strong. For a unique outdoor adventure, why don’t you try your hand at Schlittenfahren – aka sledding! During the winter months in southern Bavaria, Wallberg mountain provides Germany’s longest natural sled run, which stretches for more than 4 miles! What’s more, there’s even a cable car at the end so that you can effortlessly travel back to the top – again, again!
El Tri had no problem reaching the World Cup this time around, as they breezed through the qualifying rounds with relative ease. But there are still question marks over the squad, as 7-0 and 4-1 defeats to Chile and Germany managed to raise a few eyebrows following the qualifying campaign. With European-based players such as Héctor Herrera and Javier Hernández in their squad, Mexico are looking to make it to the knockout stages for the first time in their history.
If you’re looking for action and adventure when in Mexico, it’s best to combine it with some spectacular scenery. The ideal location for this is the Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park in the town of Tulum. Discover the depths of the Riviera as you zip-line, snorkel, swim and more with this 4-hour excursion – this certainly is an experience like no other.
Euro 2016 marked the end of Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s international career, as well as then-manager Erik Hamren. Since then, new manager Janne Andersson has transformed this side into a hard-working, disciplined unit with the focus now on RB Leipzig’s winger Emil Forsberg. Blågult’s route to the World Cup was well deserved, as their play-off win against Italy meant that they would be heading to Russia instead of The Azzuri.
The Swedes are no strangers to snow and because of this, there really is only one thing to do if you’re seeking adrenaline in Sweden. With over 100 ski resorts across the country, which covers Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowparks, there really is no shortage of the white stuff. Åre in central Sweden is Northern Europe’s biggest and best sports resort which caters for both the beginner and more experienced skiers amongst us.
Despite struggling through the qualifying rounds, South Korea made it to the finals by coming second behind Iran in the Asian qualifying category. Many South Koreans expect little from their country this campaign, as many are wishing for the unlikely return of former manager Guus Hiddink to improve their country’s chances. However, South Korea have two notable quality players in Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min and Swansea’s Ki Sung-yueng. Two glimmers of hope in an otherwise dull footballing side.
What isn’t dull, however, is the amount of adrenaline which is on offer in South Korea. Cheongpung Extreme Sports Land is a theme park, built especially for adrenaline seekers! With a number of fun facilities on offer, the park is home to four main attractions – Korea’s highest bungee jump which stands at a high of 62 metres. What’s more, the site is home to the first ever reverse bungee jump in Korea, as you shoot 162 metres up into the air at a top speed of 120km/h! There is also a 1.4km zip-line and big swing – let’s just hope that you aren’t scared of heights!
At Russia this summer, anything other than Germany topping this group would be a huge surprise. The second-placed team is likely to be a duel between Mexico and Sweden. Both of these teams have their own strengths and weaknesses, so only time will tell as to who will progress to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Each country holds its own impressive adrenaline-packed activities, but there can only be one winner in our eyes. Mexico’s stunning natural landscape in the town of Tulum is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience on it’s own, not to mention combining this with a number of activities such as zip-lining, snorkelling and rappelling!
We’re afraid to say that that’s it for this week. Next week we’ll be concentrating on Group G as our build up to the World Cup this summer continues. Make sure to keep one eye on our blog for this!