PETALING JAYA: Three football-loving friends are investing their savings in a trip of a lifetime to watch the World Cup live in Brazil, the home of the beautiful game.
Maintenance manager T. Mahen said he had been planning to go and watch the World Cup since he was 17 but never had the money to do so.
“It’s like a pilgrimage for us. When I heard that the tournament would be in Brazil this year, it was something I didn’t want to miss.
“One day, I overheard my friend Tanes saying he wanted to go no matter what and we agreed to travel for the tournament,” he said here yesterday.
Mahen will be joined in his journey by M. Tanes Kumar, 29, and S. Kanesan, 31.
Tanes said after his initial plan to go to Brazil with his hometown friends fell through, he grabbed the opportunity to arrange a similar trip with his colleagues.
“I’ve been planning this trip for about a year. At first, I planned with a group of friends from my hometown in Penang but they couldn’t make it due to various reasons.
“So, I started to look for other buddies who wanted to go to Brazil and my colleagues decided to tag along,” said Tanes, who works as a business development executive with the same company.
Tanes said they each spent about RM9,600 for the trip, which would see them putting up at a backpackers hostel near Rio De Janeiro’s famous Copacabana beach for 13 days.
“We spent RM2,200 for the second round match ticket in the Maracana Stadium, RM5,700 on the flight and RM1,700 for a 12-night stay. We may try to get another match ticket once we’re there.
“Besides football, we’re planning to soak up the entire World Cup and Brazil atmosphere – the sun, the beach, samba music and anything Rio can offer,” he said.
Brazil fan Kanesan, 31, said that he had been supporting the host nation’s football team since it won the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
“I’m a big fan of (former Brazilian player) Romario and during my school and college days, my friends used to call me Romario.
“We decided on a game at the Maracana because it is one of the world’s most famous football stadiums,” said the project manager.
For ardent Spain supporter B. Pradheesha, 25, a win during a sales challenge at her workplace earned her a spot among the 10 staffers travelling to Brazil.
“I will be staying in the north-eastern city of Fortaleza to catch the quarter-final match,” she said.