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Best yet - Brad

Posted on 10 July 2014  - 10:00

Brad Friedel has no hesitation describing this World Cup as the best he's been to – and that includes three tournaments as a player.

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Brad earned 82 caps for the USA and was in the squads for the 1994, 1998 and 2002 tournaments.

He travelled to Brazil as a pundit for BBC and returned with glowing reports.

“I’ve been to many World Cups and the atmosphere and everything surrounding it was the best I’ve ever been to,” he said.

“I was based in Fortaleza and then Rio and I found the people incredibly friendly, incredibly knowledgable about the game and incredibly passionate.

“I thought the atmosphere in the stadiums was magnificent. I loved the fact that the neutral Brazilian supporters who went to the games would quickly choose a side that they were going to favour, usually the team in possession of the ball, the team who were showing a few tricks.

“The really let the teams know, sometimes in a sarcastic manner, if they didn’t like the way they were playing their football. That just added to the atmosphere.

“The Germany against Ghana game that I did on Five Live had absolutely everything. It was a magnificent game of football to watch and at the end of it, every time Germany touched the ball, the neutral Brazilian supporters were booing because they were trying to dictate possession and they were getting bored with it!

“Meanwhile, every time Ghana got the ball they tried to score and the fans were willing them to pile forward, to try their tricks.

“The World Cup in the US was run impeccably well but back in 1994, the average American supporter was there just to watch. The atmosphere would be different now. This is going back 20 years.

“In 1998, again in France it was really well done, all the travel and the stadiums were brilliant, but it didn’t have the party atmosphere outside that the Brazilian supporters and Brazilian life gives you.

“In 2002, it was over two countries (South Korea and Japan) and again, it was magnificent.

“All these tournaments were so well run, but it’s what the Brazilian people have brought to the table off the pitch and inside the stadium that just pips this one as the best I’ve been to, plus the attacking football and the surprises. It couldn’t be better.”