I finally got the type of picture that I had been looking out for.
After watching endless re-runs of the FIFA Official films from England 1966, Mexico 70 through to Japan and Korea in 2002 on Brazil TV in our apartment, I have been getting another education on what will be historic in years to come.
Although I have lots of kit with me, I have been taking – and getting published with – a small camera – Sony RX100ii – which is nothing short of brilliant.
It came in handy when on the Metro to the Maracana Stadium in the capital city when fate made us share a carriage with a Spanish man on a horse!
The friendly Chile fans loved him and he must have spent 20 minutes having his picture taken as we travelled to the stadium.
As soon as he arrived he was pounced on by TV crews.
After the hullabaloo from the media, I waited and documented him trotting to the stadium.
Although humid, it was still chilly in the air-conditioned media centre.
For the first time this FIFA World Cup, I connected the LAN cables pitchside to my cameras and did last-minute tests sending pictures instantly back to the UK to be then edited and captioned and syndicated worldwide, leaving me able to concentrate on the game in the hope I did not miss anything.
It always works fine when sitting at home with Sky Sports in the background, but under pressure in the heat of the moment it’s always a little nervy until it works!
The internet lines here are OK, but could be better. Help from three other English photographers resulted in us finding only one out of 5 leads in the media center actually working!
With the working lead in my camera I was good to go.
I then packed up everything and was about to make my way to the pitch when nearly 100 Chile fans stormed the media center.
I felt a bit of a fool but committed the cardinal sin yet again of not having a camera to hand when I needed it most. No pictures from me on the Fans Storming Media sensation.
With TV cameramen seemingly unsure of who was who – having head shots below their view finders – the pressure was on Spain to get 3 points after losing heavily to the Netherlands.
Without writing a football match report, Chile won and Spain – holders of the FIFA World Cup – were knocked out.
The syndication system worked OK with action pictures hitting newspaper desks after one minute of taking them.
Spain were dead and buried and just like previous holders Italy in South Africa, they were on the first plane home.
The end of the game was spent covering The pitch Preparation Team – groundsmen – applying their trade on the Maracana pitch.
With the Brazilian Government stating that the Chile fans will go home within 72 hours, we now fear extra and needless security.
Fans are obviously excited when the attend FIFA World Cup matches, so are we most of the time but its the little things that drag your moral to the ground with seemingly pointless things to endure.
Already, our mosquito repellant sprays, athlete foot sprays and other toiletries have been confiscated when entering the media centre.
After questioning the reasoning for it and stating that all media will be spending hundreds if not thousands on mosquito repellant spray in particular if it is taken off them at every stadium, the Brazilians raise their hands like Italians and talk Portuguese claiming that they no longer can understand our English.
We are on the road now for the next 7 days – night bus transportation – we have no where else but to take all our belongings to the big ball games.
Anyway, Adios Spain.