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updated: 7/1/2014 11:01 AM

A final World Cup postcard

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  • Everywhere you go in Brazil, fans proudly wear or show the colors of their country and favorite team.

      Everywhere you go in Brazil, fans proudly wear or show the colors of their country and favorite team.
    Photo courtesy of Mike Taylor

  • For his final World Cup experience in Brazil, Mike Taylor witnessed the game between Uruguay and Colombia.

      For his final World Cup experience in Brazil, Mike Taylor witnessed the game between Uruguay and Colombia.
    Photo courtesy of Mike Taylor

 
By Mike Taylor
Special to the Daily Herald

Editor's note: A suburban soccer coach is attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Today he shares his final report.

Our last day in Rio had us waking up to the anticipation of two good games. One with a huge local interest, and one with a big rivalry.

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For Brazil vs Chile, the streets were a mass of yellow and green and vendors are willing to outfit you from head to toe.

Everything thing came to a standstill at game time, and as it went into overtime we had to leave to watch Colombia vs. Uruguay. Fireworks and bedlam greeted us as we exited the subway for our game, making it obvious that Brazil had won. They live for another day.

The Colombia vs. Uruguay game was just as intense with their great rivalry. Nobody was giving any ground. Uruguay pushes hard at the end, but to no avail, and Colombia wins.

As we wait for our flight home, I reflect on the experience. I came and saw the best in the world play in the World Cup in a country where it is such a revered sport that grown men weep when their team scores and the next Neymar is in the streets playing a pickup game just waiting to be found. I have seen three World Cups, and I must thank the sport I love for providing these experiences that I will never forget.

Now it's home to watch the rest of the Cup in the United States. When it's time to watch the final in Rio, I can say I have been there and know what the atmosphere is like.

• Mike Taylor is the boys and girls soccer coach at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.

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