What do you know about Brazil?
Read the following facts - Then think of some questions you can come up with for the information report you are writing on your world cup country.
- The largest country in South America and fifth largest worldwide, the Federative Republic of Brazil covers 8,500,000 sq km of the east of the continent of South America.
- The world's second longest river, the mighty Amazon, is 4,000 miles long and up to 15 miles wide, and contains an amazing 20% of the world's fresh water! It flows across nine countries from the Peruvian Andes to the Brazilian Atlantic coast, with the Amazon basin covering over one billion acres, including half of Brazil.
- The rainforest provides 20% of the world's oxygen. Around half of all known plant species can be found here
- Prior to European settlement, there were 1000 tribes of indigenous Indians.
- Brazil was discovered in 1500 by Portuguese explorer Pedro Cabral, who landed in South America on the way to India.
- The name Brazil derives from the hard wood which contained red dye used in clothing.
- The coastal city of Rio de Janeiro contains a number of iconic landmarks such as Copacabana beach, the Maracana Football Stadium and the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Sugar Loaf Mountain. Each year during Carnival thousands of samba dancers in colourful costumes parade past huge crowds in a noisy procession.
- Sao Paulo is the biggest city. Over 20 million people live in the metropolitan area, which is a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, including large numbers of Paulistas with Italian and Japanese ancestry.
- The capital Brasillia replaced Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s as part of a plan to encourage growth away from the coast.
- Brazilian football is admired around the world with Brazilian footballer Pele considered by fans as the greatest footballer of all time.
- Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times, last in 2002, and are the hosts for the next tournament in 2014. Matches will be played in 12 cities including Manaus in the Amazon region, where a magnificent Opera House was built from the proceeds of rubber plantations.
- Rio de Janeiro has been chosen to host the Olympic Games in 2016.