The World Cup is now less than a month away, and us here at Geronigo HQ couldn’t be more excited! If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that we’ve been playing our part in the run up the big event with our blog series ‘The World Cup of Adventures’. Last week saw us provide a run through of Group D. But now, it’s time for us to move onto Group E. Read on as Geronigo tells you all about what Brazil, Costa Rica, Serbia, and Switzerland have to offer in the action and adventure department!
Hosts of the previous instalment of the World Cup back in 2014, Brazil are the most successful country within the competition over the years – storming to the title on a total of five occasions. Despite the competition taking place on home turf last time round, a fourth placed finish was all they could manage – falling behind the Netherlands, Argentina, and Germany who claimed third place, runners up, and champions positions respectively. Current holders Germany are only nation behind Brazil with a total of 4 titles in the World Cup. So, this time round, Brazil will most certainly look to ensure they remain the most successful country in the World Cup and keep Germany at bay.
Boasting the likes of Neymar, Thiago Silva, and Gabriel Jesus, they’re most definitely in contention to be in with a chance of World Cup Glory once again. But, just what do they have to offer in the world of action and adventure? Well, for starters, thanks to its 8000km of coastline, there’s plenty of water-based activities on offer in Brazil – everything from surfing at world-class surf hotspots to kayaking at the rugged Costa Verde coves and remote Paranagua Bay islands. That’s not all though, there’s even plenty of adventure to be had on in the skies too! Take the Tandem Hang-Gliding experiences for instance – giving you the opportunity to soar through the air above Rio as you take off from the Pedra Bonita mountain to make a landing on the Sao Conrado beach – totally exhilarating!
Another country located in South America, Costa Rica might just be a surprise package of the tournament. Last time round, they were able to perform remarkably well against all odds – reaching the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup. They even took the Netherlands to a penalty shootout. But, unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to progress to the next round. With the likes of Bryan Ruiz and Keylor Navas in their squad, they certainly have the potential to reach the knockout stages once again. But, that of course remains to be seen!
In terms of action and adventure, Costa Rica is an adventure lover’s paradise. First of all, the country is commonly known to be the birthplace of the world’s first zip line! So, if you’re paying a visit to Costa Rica, this is certainly a must do activity. That’s not all though, there’s also a whole host of other adventures to be had. If you’re a fan of action on the water, there’s several top class surfing spots for you to catch some gnarly waves, most notably Playa Tamarindo – a world famous surf spot which guarantees an epic Surfing experience for both beginners and the seasoned pros! There’s also plenty of places to go Scuba Diving too, with a plethora of excellent spots for an awesome underwater adventure – from the Catalina Island to the Corcovado National Park in the remote South West of the country.
Serbia return to the World Cup after missing out last time round. They last appeared in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, they failed to move into the knockout stages after they finished in 4th place in their group. This year in Russia, Serbia will hope to improve, which might be easier said than done. But, let’s not forget, they have some great players in their squad, including the likes of Nemanja Matic, who has been in fine form since his move to the Premier League in 2014, firstly for Chelsea and now Manchester United, where he currently plies his trade. There’s also Aleksandar Mitrovic too, who has helped his loan club Fulham reach the Championship play-off final this year.
If you’re a fan of cycling, then you’ll be happy to known that Serbia is renowned as one of Europe’s best cycling destinations – with amazing scenery for you to enjoy along your journey – including the Iron Gates gorge which forms a boundary between Serbia and Romania. That’s not all though, Serbia is also home to no less than five National Parks, meaning for those who are in search of a true adventure, Serbia is a certainly a must-visit destination. From hiking and biking to rafting and canyoning, there’s certainly plenty of action on offer. Tara National Park is a place which guarantees some of the most scenic views you’ll find anywhere in Europe. So, it’s most definitely worth visiting Serbia if you’ve never considered it before!
Last but certainly not least, we’ve got Switzerland – a tiny nation but certainly one which shouldn’t be deemed an outsider at the World Cup. Over the past couple of years, they have crept up the rankings and currently stand at sixth – placing them ahead of European giants Spain and France! For that reason, they most certainly have the potential to progress out of the group stage this year. In the last instalment in 2014, they were able to reach the round of 16 – only to be knocked out by South American giants Argentina. Xherdan Shaqiri is a player to keep an eye on – he might have been relegated with Stoke City this season, but he is most certainly a player who has performed at the top level of football throughout his career, with previous stints at Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. Combined with Ricardo Rodriguez, these are the calibre of players that have the potential to make Switzerland the surprise package of the tournament.
In regard to the action and adventure department, here’s what Switzerland have to offer. For extreme sports lovers, Switzerland is undoubtedly one of the finest places on earth for those in search of an adrenaline fix. The Swiss Alps are the perfect destination for a skiing holiday for example – with no less than 6,852 km of slopes served by 1,685 ski lifts! If that wasn’t enough, there’s also paragliding experiences available too, providing the opportunity to admire the magnificent views of the Swiss Alps from above!
Anything other than Brazil finishing top of Group E would certainly be a huge surprise. But of course, stranger things have certainly happened! Costa Rica have fine players on their ranks, much like Serbia and Switzerland. In spite of this, each team will most likely find it an uphill task to overcome the Canarinho. However, Costa Rica were able to reach the quarter finals in 2014. So, who knows what could happen!
As you’ll know by now, Geronigo’s World Cup of Adventures blog series wouldn’t be complete without confirming who comes out on top in the action and adventure department. After much debate, we here at Geronigo HQ have decided that the worthy winners are Costa Rica – a country which certainly delivers on the adventure front. With plenty of places to take part in the thrilling activity that is ziplining, you’ll feel right at home if you’ve got a thirst for exhilaration. There’s plenty of amazing scenery for you to enjoy on the way down too – which makes a visit to this country all the more worthwhile! Combined with its several world class surfing spots, Costa Rica is without doubt an adventurer’s paradise.
Now that we’ve covered Group E, our blog of Group F will be heading your way next week. So, make sure you keep an eye out! Of course, the action on the pitch is due to commence sooner than we know it too – the tournament officially kicks off on the 14th June, so make sure to tune in!