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Our man in Brazil - Justin Cook reports from the World Cup for Marlborough News Online

I first fell in love with football when I attended the Euros when they were last in the UK. The game I attended was at Wembley with Scotland verses England.

In the space of two minutes David Seamen saved a penalty taken by Mcalister. Then it went down the other end and Gazza lobbed the ball over the Scottish defence and volleyed it into Scotland’s goal.

I was sitting in the stands behind Scotland's goal. It has left an imprint on me for life.

So, the time has finally come, the biggest footballing tournament on the planet is returning back to Brazil.

The last time Brazil hosted the tournament was back in 1950 when they lost out in the final to Uruguay 2-1, played out at the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio.

Justin Cook at the Maracana stadium in BrazilJustin Cook at the Maracana stadium in BrazilI decided to attend this magical festival of football as soon as England qualified and have been slowly saving the pennies to fund this wallet denting fiesta of fun for the last seven months.

I made the commitment to attend the World Cup based on the youth contained in the England squad as it's been an age of disappointment with England since 1966.

I don't really think we can win the tournament this year but to just make it out of our group would be fantastic. The age old questions still apply... will Cahill and Jagielka be strong enough? Will Rooney under perform again on his last realistic World Cup showing?

There are however many positives also. Luke Shaw, in my opinion, is a fantastic prospect but is yet to be tested on the big stage. Hart in goal seems confident and sharp again but Rob Green played a blinder in the FA Cup with QPR and makes a brilliant number two.

The midfield is oozing talented youth and with the stewardship of the ‘midfield general’ Stevie Gerrard I do believe that Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling can and will make a huge impact on the tournament.

With Daniel Sturridge and Rickie Lambert alongside a firing Rooney this could represent the best team for a generation since the Scholes/Beckham era. To say I am excited is a real understatement. I will be checking in from time to time by sending blogs and pictures to Marlborough News Online.

I really want to give all the football fans of Marlborough a taste of ‘Brasil 2014’ so everyone keep your fingers crossed for the boys and long may their tournament run!

Update

So I touched down at 6am today (Monday) onto Brazilian soil and the first surprise is that my bags are still in London and will not arrive until tomorrow morning. Not surprised really as think the phantom of T2 and it's new opening has caused this.

The airport is full of fans - mostly Mexicans and they are so pumped up - singing their lungs out. Also São Paulo metro workers still on strike so it's going to be gridlock in the city.

Waiting for my bus to take me to the Paulista. The vibe is excellent though and I can feel something building… what is building is not quite clear yet.

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  • IMG 8472
  • IMG 9097
  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters
  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-
  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07