A month travelling around Brazil filming all the action and colour for FIFA’s Official Film of the 2014 World Cup and all in spectacular 4K on my trusty Sony F55.

Taken from my diary postings on my Facebook page.

Click here if you want to see more photos on my Facebook page.


Day two: Rio…or is it London; the skies are grey and it’s drizzling. At least it’s not cold, but still, not exactly was I was expecting or even hoping for. Waiting for a car to take us to the airport. 12 o clock flight to Sao Paolo. Reduced the size of my kit to just five bags and leave the rest in my hotel. It also happens to be the same hotel where all the world cup referees are based so security is tight.




Day three: Sao Paolo. Overcast morning..again. Spent the day in traffic and occasionally stopping off to film some shots of the city from various locations. Without a fixer it’s hard to know where the best shots are. As I have been here many times before i have a general idea; we knock on doors at various offices asking for permission to film from their rooftops and it’s a no from everyone, but we chance upon an advertising agency who kindly gig us free will of their terrace and we get a fantastic panoramic of the sprawling city with the park in the foreground.

We take another taxi to the centre. I suggest to go to one of Brazil’s most iconic buildings, The Copan, designed by their most prominent architect Oscar Nieyemar. The porter is in a good mood and we get access to the rooftop/helipad which is thirty eight stories high and has the most spectacular views of the second largest city in the world.




Day four: Sao Paolo. Awoke to a gorgeous blue sky and rays of sunshine pouring through my hotel window. Big day today. Greg Atkins and myself head to the stadium in a taxi. An hours journey to the outskirts of Sao Paolo. A couple of kilometres outside the stadium and the taxi is barred from entering. So, laden with heavy equipment we enter the ring of steel, surrounded by a mass of police and security. It’s a slog. The stadium is …interesting. Parts of it are still to be finished, but it’s an different design to the usual. We are two crews filming 4K, one from the ground, while I am positioned on the top gantry. Great view of the opening ceremony and the first game of the world cup. A fortunate win for Brazil me thinks! Tomorrow early morning flight to Rio. Apparently there’s another strike by the Rio airport workers. Hope to get all my bags on the other side.






Day six: 4am wake up call. A driver is waiting for us to take us to Copacabana beach to film a sunrise. The skies are clear as the sun welcomes us into a brand new day. The beach is empty. It’s peaceful as I take in the sound of the waves.

The rest of the day is spent filming general views of Rio from various locations around the city, stopping off every now and then for a refreshing coconut drink.

We end the day filming a sunset on Ipanema Beach, which is on the opposite side of Copacabana.




Day seven: Argentina v Bosnia. Twenty thousand Argentinians have made their way to Rio, most of them have driven here. Old buses, jeeps, rickety old coaches from Buenos Aires, Mar De Plata, Cordoba, Rosario line the streets of Copacabana and Ipanema. Imagine twenty thousand people with ADHD, that’s the Argentinians for you. They exude energy and vibrancy. We arrive at the Maracana. We head through security, I get busted for carrying a pack of chewing gum and am ordered to throw them away!!! Inside the stadium it’s a cracking atmosphere. It’s full to the rafters in light blue and white. Argentina win 2-1. Tad dull at times, not the best game to film, but I did film Messi’s first ever goal in a World Cup in 4K.



Day eight: Quiet day. Spent morning planning for the week ahead, trips to Sao Paolo and Manaus on the cards. In the afternoon we filmed a couple of referees, one of which was the first to experience the new goal line technology in the France v Honduras game. Headed over to the IBC and experienced my first viewing of an 8K game broadcast on an 8K screen….WOW!! Feels like you are there.. though not sure where a TV that size would fit in a normal house.


Day nine: What a day. Packed the kit into the car and headed to Rocinha, Latin America’s largest favela (slum), recently made famous with a series on BBC (which was directed by the ever so talented John Joe). We met up with our fixer and a local guide who took us the the usual lookout they take all TV crews and press. It’s a great place to film a wide top shot of this city within a city! Over a hundred thousand people live in this part of Rio.




Famed for being run by drug lords, it is a myriad of alleyways with electric cables hanging everywhere, (everyone taps in to the free electricity), smelly sewers spilling onto the streets, kids flying kites from the rooftops, fireworks, explosions and gunfire echoing around the surrounding mountains and the usual squalor and poverty (though not the worst I have seen). We made our way through the narrow alleys and literally had to climb through some of the streets to reach a house where we were to film a family watching the Brazil v Mexico match on a terrace overlooking the whole favela. Another fantastic view. In other cities these would be prime property. These people are sitting on a gold mine. At half time we trekked some more, all the way to the bottom and up another steep climb of stairs. Hundreds were gathered in front of a large screen in a square. Our fixer asked the local drug lords for permission to film. Despite their blessing, it was unnerving not knowing who to film and who not to film! Wish I had time to take more photos. I love coming here. It is so rich in character and life.




Day 12: from the humidity and grey skies of Rio to a fresh and cool Curitiba. The great part of travelling around the country with our Access All Areas accreditation is we have a FIFA car to pick us up from and take us to any of our hotels and/or airports around the country.We are met at all the airports by volunteers who make sure we are looked after and that we get priority check in and priority boarding. Most of the airlines let us off the excess baggage as well which all in all makes it an absolute hassle free way of flying. Saying that, Greg Atkins sat next to two girls singing Brazilian love songs all the way here, so not sure it was all that relaxing for him.





Getting tickets for flights can get pretty difficult as they fill up so quickly. The airports are full of colourful fans criss crossing the skies of Brazil, though am surprised so many are travelling this way considering the amount of money the airlines are charging. Prices are quadruple and sometimes even more than what they normally are.


Day 16: “Everybody loves the sunshine” playing on my iPod to complement another fantastic day as I opened up the blinds. Belo Horizonte, Beautiful Horizon, is the capital of Minas Gerais.

Quick breakfast and we jumped on the shuttle bus which took us directly outside the stadium, nice and easy, which is more than can be said for all the regular fans who have to walk for miles as the police have a two to three km cordon around the stadium. Not pleasant for a lot of people. Transport isn’t great either.

England vs Costa Rica today. The mood outside the stadium was fun.

I’ve never experienced friendly english fans mixing with the locals and the opposition. This was a first.

We grabbed some shots of fans and colour and then headed inside the ground.

The photographers were all excited as Prince Harry was present.

Not much to say about the game though. Pretty dull affair. I followed England in both halves, but there wasn’t anything of note to really film. Couple of minor chances, but the team were bereft of any ideas, very disappointing.





Just before the end of the game, we spotted three England fans take their banter with the local Brazilian fans to another level and all off a sudden caveman antics and a beer throwing contest erupted in the stands. Stewards poured in and a further fifty odd police with weapons and tear gas at the ready joined them. Men in Black turned up by the side of the pitch just in case things got ugly, fingers on their taser guns.

The whole stadium turned on the English fans with a chorus of “Hooligans”. Oh dear, here we go again, I thought. Three idiots letting the whole side down again. Why do the British Govt allow these people out of the country?!!

The referee blew the final whistle and it all calmed down.

Walking back to the shuttle bus I tripped over a cable with camera and heavy back pack, arse over tit. Lucky nothing broke. But that was the biggest rush of the day!




Day 17: I really like Belo Horizonte. It’s got a really nice feel to it, it has character. It feels European.

While Greg was sorting out some admin, I took a taxi to a shopping mall in the outskirts of the city to see if I could buy a cable for my laptop. I was in luck. They had a small apple store. I bulked at the price: £120!! That’s double to what we pay in England! Import duty is extortionately high in Brazil, that is why everything is so expensive; though speaking a couple of Aussie fans last week and they found the country cheap, but that’s because the Aus Dollar is so strong.

So £120 lighter I headed back to the hotel, prepped the kit, met up with Greg and grabbed a cab to the top of a hill with a fantastic look out over the expansive city .

Today was a quick GV day. GV means General Views in TV talk. So grabbing pretty shots of the city. We jumped into the cab and drove down town and looked for some more iconic landmarks, but we couldn’t find any. Brazilian cities all seem to have been designed by one man. It’s full of tall thin white, cream buildings. Belo Horizonte was like a smaller version of Sao Paolo. We wandered around the streets with the heavy kit and decided to grab some lunch in a buffet restaurant. These are typical of Brazil. A fantastic assortment of salads, olives, cheeses, vegetables and different meat and fish and an array of lovely desserts. You fill your plate and you pay by the weight. Love the concept.

Full to the brim, we jumped back in a cab and made it all the way up hill to the look out again and waited for the sun to wave us goodbye.

We had two hours to kill before being picked up, so we lazed back in our hotel lobby. Our Fifa car was on time and we headed off into the night to the airport. Three hours later we landed in a humid and wet Recife, to the north west of the country. Tomorrow is another early start. Germany v USA. Should be a good game. Looking forward to some brash Americans. Apparently more world cup tickets were sold in the USA than anywhere else in the world. 200,000 to be exact. Argentina was second and way down the table coming in third and fourth was Germany and England. (hope I got my facts right there)

2am. Time to rest, not sure if I will, the wind is howling outside my window and the air conditioning is on full blast in my smelly musty damp room. And there is a constant drip just inside my window. Great!


Day 18: Every day can’t be perfect. Today was one of those those. Yet I will always remember it.

I searched through my bag, “where the hell is it?”, I had lost my North Face jacket somewhere between Curitiba, Belo Horizonte and here. Dam!! Of all the days I needed it most.

Recife, on the north east coast of Brazil, is humid and a low lying brooding cloud sat gloomily over us and unleashed every droplet of Atlantic water over the city.






As we inched our way to the stadium in our shuttle bus, the streets became progressively worse as roads became rivers.





It was fascinating watching the locals coping with the floods. Even Noah would have built a boat had he been alive today. I doubt the local council would by the looks of the rotting infrastructure. The contrast between Brazilian cities is so stark.

We overheard that “Raincife” is the nickname given to Recife.





As I was snapping away at the passing street life through the raindrops, Greg in his casual self suggested I open the window to get a clearer picture. I hadn’t noticed the window had a handle. Good point…”duuuh” I thought. The minute I opened the window and pointed my camera outside, a car overtook our bus and his spray unleashed a bucket load of disease infested street water in my direction soaking my face and my camera. With a mouthful of water, I tried to remain cool….

Traffic was gridlocked, what else is new in Brazil, but after two hours we eventually got to the stadium. It was still lashing down. We went through security where I was asked to remove the label on my water bottle as it wasn’t a Coke branded bottle (no comment!) and hung out in the media centre. An hour before kick off and the place was empty. They were all probably stuck in traffic jams around the city. I went out to check the pitch and saw the referees and a couple of the USA team check the pitch. I was positive the game was going to be called off due to a waterlogged pitch. I was wrong.

After a quick bite to eat in the media restaurant I asked one of the kitchen staff for some bin bags. She came out with some lovely yellow ones. I made a couple of holes and one for my head and I had saved myself £5 from having to buy one from the market stalls outside.

Before the teams came out for the national anthems, photographers, cameramen and journalists huddled in the media tunnel entrance, just by the corner flag, grunting, groaning and muttering about having to spend the next two hours under the monsoon rain.

I could barely see out of my lens, let alone my viewfinder. This rain was relentless. My lens cloth served no purpose, it was like going to war with a plastic sword. The German photographer next to me screaming “Scheisser I can’t see nussing! Sheiss”





All I could see was a blur and considering I am filming in 4K, which requires every shot to be sharp and in focus, this was a nightmare.

The German team pounded the USA, with some neat passing, great through balls, but they just couldn’t finish them off. The USA were valiantly holding on. Their fans who had braved the traffic to finally make it in the nick of time, were here by their thousands, they sang their hearts out (the Germans did as well. Am not biased).





It was amazing to see so many US fans. So many dressed in super hero outfits. There goes Superman, Batman and there is Captain America. Oooh look Wonder Woman. (The Germans were dressed as …they normally dress…in black red and yellow, some in bavarian clothes).

Unfortunately for the Yanks, the Germans, as they do so well, had decided it was time to spoil the party. Muller with the only goal.





It was all hugs and kisses at the end. Despite the loss the US had also scraped through the next round.

By the way, I don’t have anything against the Germans. They have definitely been the best team I have filmed so far. They look like a team, they have structure and disciplined. My favourites to win this little tournament of sorts.

Hope my shoes dry by tomorrow.


Day 19: What a contrast to yesterday. Gone were the clouds of doom. Blue skies and a scorching sun beckoned us out into the glorious warmth of Recife….with my wet shoes from yesterday which, despite tying the laces around the grill of the air conditioning to get them as close as possible to the flow of air, were still very damp and soggy.

This is my first time in Recife. I have been to a lot of places around Brazil , but for some reason never here.

Recife is on the flight path from Europe and Africa, it’s the the first city planes from Europe fly over when they hit land over the Atlantic and the last city before the long stretch of water back home, and it was here where the local air traffic control last spoke to Air France before it fatefully plunged into the Atlantic a few years back!! I know, a bit morbid. But it’s always the first thing that springs in my mind when I think of Recife.

I never sleep on flights and after a film or two I always switch over to the map to check on our whereabouts. Looking out of the window, I try and picture the landscape and the different cultures we are flying over.

I imagined an old Portuguese colonial city, a bit like Salvador, a couple of hours flight south of here. I really wasn’t expecting this. The long stretch of beach was lined with tall apartments and hotels as far as the eye could see. It was a seaside resort. We might as well have been in Torremolinos, Spain, though I have never been there and nor would I want to, but am sure it’s similar.





From the lift on my way down to the lobby, I noticed some people playing football on a clear beach not far from the hotel.

I set the tripod down on the sand and just enjoyed the iconic shot unfolding in my camera. Brazil, beach, football, sun. Spin the camera around the other way and two lovers, like a scene from “10” with Dudley Moore and Bo Derek, walked straight towards camera, smooching away without a care in the world.





Recife is definitely bigger than I anticipated. We took a cab towards the old city, it took a good forty minutes. The landscape changed from tall buildings to manly old favella type housing. Favella’s are slums. The houses are usually all built on top of one another, usually with breeze blocks, but they will use anything, as long as it is a roof over their head and someone can call it their home.

We spotted a couple of German, American and Dutch fans wandering around the slums and getting a feel for the place. Am surprised as it’s the first thing the hotels will recommend you Do not do! The police have pacified a lot of the favellas around the host venues and no serious incidents have so far been reported, that I know of, but you never know.

We spotted some young kids playing football on a dishevelled sandy football pitch by the sea. Another great moment for a 4K audience to lap up, hopefully.





Time was running out, we had to rush back to meet our FIFA limousine which was booked to take us to the airport. Goodbye Recife. It’s been interesting. Wish I had more time. Hard to get a feel for a place in only two days.

Next stop, the resort of Fortaleza, an hour flight further north.




Day 20: The group of eight German fans were all laughing as Greg Atkins told another joke, when all of a sudden one of them flipped and attacked him, his two hands round his throat strangling him. I jumped in and with all my force separated the big German’s hands from Greg’s throat. There was confusion, next minute the German was twisting both my nipples (!!) goaded on by his friends.

I couldn’t believe it, the big girl! I feigned no pain and I was just about to swipe him when I woke up. I took a look around my enormous bed. It’s the size of a football field. Rays of sunshine pouring through the curtains. “Where the hell am I?! And what the hell was that dream about?”

I drag my tired body to the bathroom and open the door to the large walk-in shower. The taps are just that little bit too far away from a normal reach, it requires leaning in, but as I look up I see the shower head aimed right at me. I try and work out how to turn it on without getting a burst of cold water. I stood there for a minute figuring out a water-space-gravity-time equation. Ready, steady, turn the tap and pull aw….I got hit! I cursed whoever designed this! This is supposed to be a five star hotel dammit.

Fortaleza, more like Acapulco. Another modern looking resort. This is where Brazilians come for their holidays, or so I have been told. It’s got a nice feel to it even though we were warned that it’s very dangerous and we shouldn’t walk the streets by ourselves at night.

Am desperate to get my laundry done. Having spent the last week hopping from one hotel to the next, I have now reached those T-shirts stuffed at the bottom of the bag that you never wear but are just there for emergencies. I call reception and ask them if they know any local launderettes. I don’t want to use the hotel as they charge an absolute fortune. Their prices are extortionate. As an example I took a bag load to get washed in a local place in Rio and it only cost me about £15, whereas Greg decided to use the hotel and got stung over £100 for less clothes.

They call me back saying that all the local launderettes are closed as today is a national holiday because Brazil are playing. Great, that means I have to wait until I get to Sao Paolo on Monday, hopefully.

Every host city has a FIFA Fan Fest which is essentially an area where locals and football fans can go and watch the games on a big screen, surrounded and cocooned by all the World Cup sponsors.





It’s hot! It’s at least 30 to 35 degrees. I am cooking and I can feel the back of my next roasting away.

Brazil were playing Chile. I needed to get shots of the fans and their reaction.

I jumped on the stage. Wides, close ups, people holding their breath, pulling their hair, grimacing, flapping their arms, getting angry with the pictures on the big screen. Usual stuff. I jumped off the stage and mingled with the crowd, decided to go hand held and point my lens really close to their faces to capture as much of their emotions as possible, allowing them to play with the camera giving me something with more feeling.

The sight of a camera does weird things to people. They will rush up, pull stupid faces, wave their fingers in front of the lens, jump up and down like monkeys and shout something obnoxious really loudly. And that’s when I am not even recording! It happens all the time in every country of the world. Humans…Strange bunch.

Brazil win on penalties, just about, thank goodness. I was worried for my safety had they lost, particularly so early in the tournament. What would the repercussions had been on the World Cup should they get knocked out. Will we see strikes and protests again? It’s on everyone’s mind.

The red sun set behind the long pier in distance as the silhouettes of bodies on the beach made beautiful shapes in the camera. Ahh the end of the day. How peaceful…only to be interrupted by a drunk woman next to us standing over her drunk husband, screaming at him at the top of her voice, ready to fist him while her child looked on!

I wasn’t going to jump into that one. She looked like a beast and I was afraid she would twist my nipples!


Day 21: The heat from yesterday had wiped me out. It was tough getting out of bed this morning and to top it off I then I had another one to one with the shower, ok here goes, 1-2-3 and …Dam!! It got me again!

The stadium is not that far, only a 20 minute coach drive from the hotel. The organisers and the police have a 2 km exclusion zone here as well. Which means the roads are closed to all traffic apart from accredited vehicles and the fans have to just walk.

As the coach drove down the quiet road, I noticed bikes everywhere. It seems that the ingenious locals had built a fleet of bicycle taxi’s to transport fans to the stadium. How very Dutch of them, coincidentally today was Holland v Mexico and the dutch certainly loved the service. I picked up my photographic camera and was about take some pictures when I realised I had left the card in my hotel. How stupid of me. So it was the iPhone instead for today.





Having worked at France 98 and Japan-Korea in 2002 as well, am intrigued by the traits of all the different nationalities, it’s interesting to see what kind of fans each nation brings with them and how many. These are of course only my observations and they bear no judgement on any country. The English, the Germans, the Irish and the Scots (when they qualify) I would say have the biggest support from Europe, their fans come from all walks of life and most of them will have saved for ages to experience a world cup. They will travel round watching as many games as they can, savouring the atmosphere. You can see their flags in all the stadia (though that has since been banned). Then you have the Dutch, the Spanish and the French, you kind of notice them, every now and then, there will be a few here and there. The Italians tend to arrive only if they’re in a final, they let their immigrant cousins support the team up until then.





Today the Mexicans are here in their thousands. They always bring good support at all the tournaments. I always remember the trains in Japan being full of Mexicans all the time. One thing that makes them stand out is that they smell of money. They stay in the exclusive hotels, you hardly ever see any of them travelling with backpacks or trekking in old buses, like the Argentinians or the Chileans. There are a lot of rich people in Mexico and most of them were probably in the stadium in Fortaleza.

It was sweltering. We went through security. Greg was stopped for bringing in an apple. He was told he wasn’t allowed to bring it in for security reasons. The mind boggled and common sense did not prevail. We left speechless.

We didn’t have long before we had to be on the pitch for kick off so we rushed to the volunteers tent which is where we spend our luncheon vouchers. As we arrived, sweat pouring off our backs, having trekked for miles to get there, a volunteer was being stretchered off to hospital. It was that hot!

It’s a standard buffet meal. For dessert we both had an apple.

You could tell the Dutch players were finding conditions hard. It was a cauldron on the pitch and the Mexican’s used to anything hot, were putting up a good fight. For the first time ever the referee stopped the game on the 20 odd minute mark to allow the players to have drinks. They needed it but I wonder if this is slowly being introduced to get us ready for Qatar?

Holland won 2-1 with a dodgy penalty in the last dying minutes of the game. Football is cruel.

We seem to be really lucky with getting sunset after sunset. Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Recife and now twice in Fortaleza. This time on another beach near our hotel. We see some kids playing football and it makes for a lovely silhouette against the setting sun.

Early bed tonight. Up at 4am. Fly to Sao Paolo via Brazilia….I am so not looking forward to that.





Day 22:

“Come on time to wakeup”

“No I don’t want to”

“Come on, up you get. That’s the alarm. Can’t you hear it?”

“No I can’t.”

“Well what’s that annoying sound coming from the side of your bed then?”

“It can’t be the alarm. It’s too early!”


It was the alarm. 4am.


“Told you!”

“Shut up conscience”


So glad I packed all the kit last night.

Found a clean t-shirt at the bottom of my bag. My second to last one.

I really need to get laundry done or else am going to be a walking tramp!


Right, fast motion: get trolley from reception, load up all the bags, check out, load car, head to airport, check in, pay excess baggage, security, get on plane.


I actually don’t like flying. It’s the most boring and painful thing in the world. I am also a nervous flyer. By now I know all the noises a jet aeroplane makes from take off to landing and if I hear anything out of the ordinary I get twitchy and I don’t like flying with airlines I have never heard of.


Flying around Brazil has been a bit of a mixed bag. We’ve flown with TAM, Azule and Gol. All the aeroplanes have been of the highest standard, they’re all brand new fleets, clean and comfy, even being able to watch live TV with Azule, which was great. The stewards have all been polite and helpful. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.





It’s on the ground where the problems lie. The service industry is a little bit lacking to put it politely. For a start you’d never think there was actually a World Cup going on. There are no friendly signs or directions (either English or Spanish) for the tourists/fans, the announcements are all in Portuguese, so if you’re incapable of picking up any of the local language, you’re pretty buggered. I would kind of understand it in the domestic airports, but not the International ones.


We’ve noticed that only ten percent of check-in staff speak any English. Had it not had been for the friendly help of the World Cup volunteers, who are only here to help accredited media, sponsors and FIFA, travelling would have been an extremely painful experience.


So from the scorching heat of Fortaleza to Brazilia, the capital of Brazil, then a connecting flight to Sao Paulo, a total distance of around 2300 km. That’s like from London to Istanbul, give or take.





As we came in to land there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and for once you could see Sao Paulo as it stretched out into the horizon. It’s an awe inspiring view. It get’s me every time. Shame I was sitting on the wrong side of the plane to take any photos.


Traffic in the city was free flowing, so we arrived in good time to our hotel. The Renaissance is the FIFA hotel in Sao Paulo where they still charge for internet, the only one to do so. £12 a day!


First things first. Laundry. I found a local launderette which charged by the weight and a third of the price I would have been charged by the hotel. A bargain. It felt so good handing over those filthy clothes. What a relief. Hoping they deliver them to the hotel in good time in the morning.


In a room on the 17th floor, the TV was showing Algeria against the nipple twisting Germans (read Day 20), whilst outside my window the sun was setting over the city. It was time for a bit of shut eye. Another early start tomorrow.

“You know you still have to unpack all your kit?”

“Yeah I know”

“Come on, wake up and do it now”

“No, I’ll do it later”

“Are the batteries charged? What time is pick up? You need to find an ATM…”

“SHUT UP!!!”






Day 23: We took the lift to the 27th floor and then climbed two flights of stairs to a lounge, out onto the roof, up some stairs to the helipad and there she was once again, the sprawl of Sao Paulo. We waited for the sun to rise. It was cold without my jacket. I wonder where I had left it? Hope we don’t have to go south Porto Allegre at any point, I hear it’s really cold down there. Am not prepared for any sub 15 degree weather.




The views were amazing, unfortunately the sun decided to rise in between two ugly buildings and a mass of pylons leaving us without any other choice than to film it in close up. It would have been nice as a wide.

The rays lit the thousands of white tall buildings that seem to be a characteristic of the city.

I wanted the sun to hurry up. My vertigo was starting to take control of and I didn’t want to have to bail out.




Three years ago I filmed a 3D project in the Amazon and we had to climb up a tall flimsy looking scaffold which protruded above the forest canopy. It had the most amazing views of the Amazon forest. Unfortunately I never found out as I only managed to get to a third of the way before my legs deiced they had had enough. They refused to compute any of my commands The scaffold was swaying with the weight of the other crew climbing ahead of me.

A harrowing scene of a crumbling tower with a crushed film crew underneath it played over and over in my mind. I had to get back to terra firm again as soon as possible. That was the first time I was really affected by vertigo.


Quick breakfast, meet in the lobby and pick up the shuttle bus to the stadium.




Argentina v Switzerland.

My first position was to film both teams in the tunnel before they came out onto the pitch. Lot’s of close ups of the players, particularly Messi. I had to make sure I stood behind the main OB camera as it was made very clear I was not to appear on the live feed.

As soon as the whistle started proceedings, I moved from the tunnel to the stands and found a spot amongst the crazy Argentinian fans, who are always loud, full of bravado and always have something to say. I wanted to capture their point of view of the match.




The game was obviously not going to plan as their cockiness ebbed away and doubt crept in.

Everyone thought it was going to be a white wash, no one had predicted a Swiss team full of pazazz and fighting spirit.


I placed the camera behind the goal and filmed tight shots of the action.

The game turned into a bore. Stop start, stop start. And you were willing for someone to just put it to bed, anyone.

Extra time…Breathe in


Second half, Argentina score a goal at the wrong end for me. I barely saw it.


Back I go into the tunnel to film the Swiss players trundle back to their changing room looking depressed and forlorn.


Forlorn we walked back to our shuttle bus, back to our hotel and back to bed as we look forward to a 3am wake up call for a 6 am flight back to Fortaleza


Day 24: 3am (!!) wake up call for a 6 o’clock flight from Sao Paulo International Airport. We’re heading back to Fortaleza via Brazilia again. Twice in one week.

5 hours. Euuurgh. Am not in the best shape and worst of all Avianca, are entrusted in flying us there.

There are certain airlines I just don’t get along with. Avianca are one of them. Avianca are a Colombian airline that have broken into the lucrative Brazilian domestic market. I didn’t like them when I filmed in Colombia back in 2001 and my feelings haven’t wavered one tiny bit after thirteen years. Their customer service is non existent, from check in all the way to the stewards.


Like any business that has a complete disregard for their customers, I always question how many cut backs are happening behind the scenes and how that impacts general air safety. I wouldn’t be surprised their staff get paid peanuts as well.


I checked them up online, they have a good safety record and a modern fleet, yet it still didn’t stop me from feeling nervous. Maybe am just being paranoid and it just happens to be one of those mornings where everything annoys you, like their inflight meal which I think was supposed to be some kind of vomit sandwich. That’s what it looked like anyway. I didn’t taste it.


Ok enough berating.


There wasn’t a cloud in the sky from Sao Paulo all the way to the northern coast. The ride was smooth and dull, that was until we reached Fortaleza air space when all of a sudden it felt like we were all jumping on an invisible bouncy castle in the clouds.

There were sighs of relief all round when the tyres screeched on the runway.


Were back in the same five star hotel with the dodgy shower. Looking forward to the renewed challenge.


I lie down on the bed for two minutes….I wake up two hours later. Jet lagged, we both trudge to the beach opposite to restore some long lost energy, re balance adrenalin levels and clear the mind from work and football, even if it is for just a short time.


Day 26: Brazilians love their air conditioners. You go from a freezing taxi, open the door and it’s sweltering, a freezing airport, a freezing plane, to hot and humid. The cleaner keeps turning on the air con in your room and you return to an ice bucket.


I don’t like air con. In a car I prefer to have the window open and take in the natural air. Also if I leave it on in my hotel room it causes condensation in my lenses, which is what happened when I got to Recife last week. As soon as I took my camera in the humidity outside, my lenses steamed up. I had to turn them face up into the sun and wait for them to clear.


It’s supposed to be winter on this side of the planet and in the north of Brazil, it’s anything but. The south, though, is a lot cooler. So you end up travelling from hot to cold, to air con, to air con off; add to that a virus that was spread on the Avianca flight on the way up here and you have the cause of Man-flu.


The last thing I need is Man flu over the next couple of days. We’ve got a gruelling schedule awaiting us. Anyone that says this job is glamorous has no idea. Yes you get to travel and see great places, meet amazing people, without sounding patronising, it’s not for the faint hearted. Sometimes it really is blood sweat and tears to get your shot.


This morning it was blood sweat and tears getting out of bed as man flu kicked in.

I stuffed myself with as much mango, apples and pears to boost my energy.


Big game today. Brazil v Colombia.




Thousands of Brazilians were in party mood outside the stadium. I was not. Just couldn’t get into it. Felt like my head was in a vice. Screaming fans jumping up and down in front of my camera and shouting really really loudly, just in case I couldn’t hear them properly, made it even more…fun!


As we walked into the ground from the media centre, the Colombian team came out to warm up. The whole stadium jeered. And it was a loud jeer. Really loud. The stadium was full to the rafters and out of the 60,000 there were only a thousand Colombians. They could not be heard. The circular design of the stadium ensured that the cheers of the vociferous crowd wasn’t lost in the skies above.




The Brazilian National anthem played and the crowd were on their feet, singing their hearts out. Men, women and children, wrapped up in emotion and national pride, tears in their eyes.


All of a sudden an officious person demanded that Greg leave the pitch. Camera crews weren’t allowed to have a producer with them, especially behind the goal. We spent the whole of the first half arguing with them. Eventually after a phone call they found out that that rule doesn’t apply to all crews and we were one of those special crews. But it was frustrating and unnecessary. It affects your work. Security guards and officious people. I love ’em!


The game was…well, it wasn’t great. In fact I thought it was rubbish. It was stop start. Too many fouls. The ball spent a lot of time in the air. Brazil were really nervous and on edge, their passing was wayward, whereas Colombia couldn’t string more than four passes together. They were worse than England! Brazil were tough, strong and quite dirty off the ball. They reminded me of Stoke City.

It ended 2-1 to Brazil with a spectacular free kick from David Luiz, who ran straight past me to celebrate with the fans by the corner flag.

I really thought Colombia was going to be a game too far for Brazil, but they got their tactics right and out-muscled them.


With Brazil through, everyone is happy and the tournament fever lasts into the next round. No protests just yet.


Am stuffing my face into a risotto in my room while I wait for all my cards from the camera to digitise onto the hard drive. We have four hours before a taxi takes us to the airport for a 3am flight to Salvador!!! Tomorrow it’s Hup Hup Holland v Costa Rica. Let’s hope man-flu clears up by then.


Day 27: I don’t think I have ever flown in the middle of the night with a domestic airline. It’s normal for airports to be closed by 11pm – 12am, but I am guessing that due to the high demand of travel during the World Cup they’ve had to increase flights in these ungodly hours to move people around. We check in at 2.30 am.

The lady at check in charges me a ridiculous amount for excess baggage, the most I have paid so far and for one of the shortest flights we’re about to take. I ask her for a discount, which we usually get as both Azule and Gol Airlines have a deal with FIFA. She refuses. And with a smile on her face…..!




The flight is packed. Greg passes out. I on the other hand, can never sleep on planes. Once the beast is airborne, am awake. Fidgeting, elusively trying to find a comfortable position in my seat.


5am, we land in Salvador, one of the oldest cities in South America and the first capital of Brazil. It has a strong African influence due it to being one of the largest slave ports in the Americas back in the day.


The last time I was in Salvador was in 2001 and I was only here for two or three days, but I don’t seem to remember it looking like this. Either the city has metamorphosed , or my memory has faded.





This time I am going to be spending less time than my first visit, it’s a 17 hour in and out job, which is a real shame as there is so much to see and explore.


We arrive at the hotel at 7am and manage to get a bit of shut eye until the alarm interrupts my much needed rest at 11am. There’s a shuttle bus at 1pm to take us to the airport and I need those two hours to get ready as man-flu made it’s presence felt as I woke up and everything seems to be running in slow motion.


I pack, slowly, I can’t compute what kit I need for the day. I want to try and take as little as possible as energy levels are nearly down to zero.




The stadium is situated in the heart of the city, in a small like valley, nearby a small park with a lagoon and then surrounded by the rising favellas. It’s a really interesting location, very picturesque and a whole lot more colourful than anywhere else we have been, though am not sure it’s quite the same for the poor people who live in the favellas. Not sure how they feel when they look out of their windows at the brand new shiny stadium.




The amount of barricades used at this World Cup is astronomical. I despise barricades and fences, they’re ugly and restrictive, which is the whole point, but there is nothing worse than seeing people herded like sheep at a major event. I suppose the psychology behind it is that if you treat people in a certain way they’ll naturally behave like it.


They are also purposefully positioned so you have to walk the longest route possible and when carrying a lot of heavy gear, they are a right pain.


Finally a game where the ball is on the ground, by both teams. Holland though seem to just pass the ball from side to side, hold possession and then quickly ping it to Robben, but Costa Rica are sitting so deep they snuff out the attack. Again and again, the same move. Groundhog day for 90 minutes. Just a little bit dull.


We’re hoping for the game to finish quickly as we have a car taking us to the airport from the hotel at 9.30.


Extra time. Nooo


The more time spent here is less time spent in the hotel room relaxing, having a much needed shower etc.


Penalties. Dam.


One of them sees Tim Krul save the ball which is tipped over behind the advertising and wallops me in the stomach, lucky I am made of sterner stuff (flexes non existent muscles), despite my man flu (now subsiding and turning into irritating cough and sneezes. The editor is going to have fun listening to that).


Anyway Holland go through. Deservedly so. The the usual four have booked themselves in the Semi’s. Shame. I was really hoping for Belgium and/or Colombia to have been in there somewhere.




Back to the hotel, pack just in time, check out with the slowest front desk in the world, jump in car, arrive at airport, met by two lovely volunteers who help us to check in. We’re running tight.


We have become accustomed to checking in in Portuguese now (!!!) and I ask for a corridor seat (aisle). The girl smiles at me. I look at the ticket and see 15B. That’s not corridor. I have to rush and pay for excess in another booth by the “slowest man behind a till” in the world. I rush back to the girl. “Corridor por favour” “Si, si e corridor” she replies, still smiling at me. I know she’s wrong. She was wrong.


After two hours on a full flight sitting in a middle seat and nearly going mad with a fidgeting Greg sitting in the “corridor” seat and a guy peacefully sound asleep in window seat, we finally land in Rio.


We tell the driver to step on it. An hour later we arrive at the hotel. At 2.30am we stumble out of the car, check in, to room and to bed. Crash.


I dream am being strangled by the two smiling ladies at check-in.


Day 30: At breakfast I coincidentally meet an old producer fiend of mine whom I had worked with just the once on a shoot to Austria over twelve years ago to film an interview with Lothar Mattheus, a world cup winner with Germany back in 1990. It turned out to be a stressful shoot as Mattheus was a particularly “difficult” man.

Anyway, just as we are catching up with gossip, the planets of Mars and Uranus decide to line up and throw us a little surprise. Who should sit at the table next to us but Lothar Mattheus. Obviously, Lothar had no idea and wouldn’t know us from Adam, but for us both it was weird!


On my way to the local launderette, there was a long queue outside a shop which sold lottery tickets. On the pavement I noticed this ginger furry thing lying against a bin. Is that a cat? It is..It can’t be alive..It must be dead…No it’s alive…And it’s got sunglasses on it’s head! And a Brazilian coloured hat! And it’s sleeping on it’s back. It didn’t move or wasn’t fussed by any of the commotion around him. What a bizarre creature. His owner popped out of the shop and picked him like a doll. Everyone crowded around him. From what I overheard, everyone seemed to know the cat’s name and was already a little bit of a celebrity.




Travel day today. We’re packing again and heading off to Sao Paolo, where we’re covering the Argentina v Holland semi final game. The other semi is about to start.

As we arrive at the airport, shutters are closing at all the shops and cafes. Only a couple of bars remain open. There are large screens around the airport and everyone seems more intent watching the Brazil game than getting any work done. Whenever Brazil play, it’s a bank holiday. If you hate football and want a normal routine life, forget about it! You’re in the wrong country! Everyone celebrates the National team here. Everyone, old, young, men, women and children, dogs and even ginger cats!

You can’t get away from yellow and green.

As we go through security we hear women screaming, not in joy…it’s that scream of fear, followed by a loud groan echo throughout the airport. The security guards all look at each other, just by the sound they could tell that Germany had scored.




All the gates were empty. It seemed eerily quiet. There didn’t seem to be any arrivals or take offs. Everyone was huddled around the big screen TV’s, chewing fingers and hands clasped over their faces. It wasn’t looking good. Second goal, third, fourth etc….


Everyone seemed to realise that Brazil weren’t coming back from this humiliation and after the moment of disbelief, the airport noise came back to life and normal routine resumed. Everyone just got up and walked to their checkin gates, like the game never happened, which wasn’t the case for passengers coming off their flights, searching for the closest media outlet to get the latest result and then breaking down in a heap on the floor.


The flight was empty. I mean who would want to fly when Brazil are playing?!! We had the whole plane for ourselves. We arrived in Legoland (SP) as the captain announced the seventh goal fro the Germans.






Shame we didn’t get to film that game. It would have been a classic. To say you were actually there, to have witnessed the capitulation of Brazil!!

I doubt Argentina v Holland is going to be that exciting tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a low scoring and ugly game.


Have the planets aligned themselves for a German victory? My guess is yes.


Day 31: Sao Paulo is strewn with graffiti. Most of it though doesn’t make any sense. For years I have been asking the locals what the symbolic graffiti writing says but no one can tell me. It looks like a secret code from Lord of the Rings. It’s gobbledegook. It has to mean something and who the hell is doing it as it’s all over the city and Sao Paulo is big, like really big! It’s 55km by 45km!! When a city that size is covered in the same mysterious scribble, you’d expect someone to know something about it. After fifteen years and countless times coming here am still to find out.


One thing is for sure, they do love their street art. Lot’s of street artists are from Brazil and there are some damn good ones as well.

Villa Madalena in SP is where you go to view all the street art. Houses, garages, any available wall space, even trees are used as a canvas. I would love to have some of these paintings to take home with me. Some really are true works of art.


We walked around to film some shots of the place. Filming art on a wall or a canvas isn’t exactly the most visually exciting thing to do. It’s a still image and it either requires a dolly or a tracking shot to make it interesting. Unfortunately I have neither of those, so I had to make do. The light wasn’t great so we got what we needed and made our way to the stadium.


Two more games to go. Come on. Am starting to wane now as it all becomes a bit of a blur. Our shuttle bus takes us through the same roads we seem to have travelled on so many times already over the last month. The same massive bumps and pot holes. Past the same favellas, the kids running around without any shoes, the tramps popping out of the sewers to go and wash in the canal, the endless amount of traffic, the countless amount of tall buildings….


I wonder what everyone will take home with them after this tournament? Apart from the football, what will the journalists and fans take from Brazil?

I wonder if we will see Kilo restaurants being opened in the UK…I love these places, Greg isn’t a fan, but I think they are perfect for a quick and healthy lunch. You have a buffet area with the most amazing selection of salads, grilled vegetables, olives, cheeses, meats, desserts and sushi. You fill your plate up with as much as you want and pay in weight.

So cheap and so delicious!


We arrived at the most heavily fortified stadium in the western hemisphere, surrounded by beautiful barricades and fencing. We might as well be at the Pentagon.


Argentina v Holland: Semi Final


After last night’s unbelievable result, everyone is buzzing, especially the Argentinian fans, they are chuckling their pony tailed heads off.


Right, who do we follow? The Dutch have been consistently good at the back, the Argies look weak at the back…Who looks like they could score first? Decisions…I don’t want this to be a seven goal thriller and be on the wrong side! We’ll let fate decide. I do a gads or tails in my head. I get Greg to set up behind the right goal and wait for me.




The skies go dark and it soon starts to drizzle.

Stupidly I have forgotten to bring my rain jacket for my camera, so we get some plastic bags from catering. It don’t look pretty, but it works.

I am positioned in the tunnel. I have to film the players as they prepare to come out. I have to make sure i am as close to the wall as possible so the live cameras don’t see me.


I stand on the Dutch side and get close ups of all the players as they line up. Van Persie, focus from Messi and back to Van Persie’s face, some one else, someone else, another dutch player and then a miserable man with a squashed nose who happens to be Van Gaal the manager (never liked him).




As all the press make their way behind the goal after the national anthems, I realise the pitch is packed with at least two hundred photographers and behind the goal it’s solid with camera crews. It’s not the best stadium to manoeuvre, it’s like an English ground.




The game is one of the best I have filmed. Both teams have a system, a game plan. It’s repetitive though. The dutch pass it along the back four, then they pass it along the middle four, then back to the back four again and long ball it up to Robben…who fluffs it. The Argies have read the script and are ready and waiting for him. The Argies pass it along the back four, down the right wing, try and flick it into Messi who is also thwarted by a solid Dutch defence who have also read the script. Both teams continuosly cancel each other out for 90 minutes. I knew it was going to be dull. I predicted it!




All crews, camera and photographers aren’t allowed to stray from their allotted position. Once you have picked your end that’s it. Lock down. Lucky we had a position behind both goals and because this stadium isn’t run by as officiously as other places we sneaked to the end as we were told that should it go to penalties, that would be the chosen goal.


Extra time…dull


Penalties. Ok. Here we go….What?! Penalties are at the other end?! No!! Quick, leg it. Greg, grab the bags, Carolina, grab the bags. Run, before anyone sees us.


Am carrying the tripod with the camera attached. Am trying to run as fast as I can without, falling over, bumping into anyone important and more importantly getting noticed. Holland are lining up the penalty, I haven’t even reached half way…Wait for meeee…


Miss!!! The Argie fans go crazy, I co crazy as I am missing it as well. Finally I get round to my allotted position. Bobble up the camera, wipe my lens from all the rain…Focus…and yep, got it just in time.


England aren’t the only team to buckle under the pressure of penalties, the dutch go into meltdown and Argentina win. Fans go crazy. They cry, they scream, they praise Maradona….Screaming his name alongside all the saints and the virgin Mary. Grown men in uncontrollable delirium.


I wait for the team as they do a lap of honour around the stadium and I pick them up as they head down the tunnel, to their changing room…


Historic night for Argentina. Will they go all the way?! They’ll be plenty of street art on the streets of Buenos Aires celebrating their heroes if they do!


Day 33: The dark ominous clouds have been sitting over Rio for the last few days unleashing torrents of rain and unsettled weather. It’s humid, but there is also a chill in the air. Gone are the days of sunshine and warmth, the winter has settled in.

Rio is about sunshine, you don’t associate it with rain and dull grey clouds. It feels weird and the mood feels like something is coming to an end. Which it is, seeing as the final of the World Cup is tomorrow, (today by the time most of you read this).


Today was about filming interviews and rehearsing positions for the final game.

First of all we took a taxi to the Maracana where they were preparing the stadium for the the closing ceremony. Large puppets were being moved around. Let’s hope they do a better job than the opening ceremony.


The two stars of the show are Shakira and Santana. We had to interview both of them and we spent a couple of hours in the morning trudging around the VVIP (very very important area) of the stadium trying to find a good location to film them in.


We got a call that both Shakira and Santana were to fe filmed in the artists changing rooms deep in the depths of the stadium. So two hours of prepping had been dismissed with a click of a finger.




Shakira was up first. How can I describe her without being horrible….I can’t! So I will refrain from saying anything at all.


Santana was a lovely gentleman. Polite and helpful. He gave us time to film him in both HD and in 4K, though his manager did threaten to break Greg’s hand if he was going to ask him one more question after the allotted time. And that wasn’t a joke!




Stealing a line from Greg’s Facebook post, one of Santana’s quotes was: “Too many people are seekers, it’s time to look at the light within, divinity in all its forms is within all of us, peace man!”.


After the interview I came away feeling like I had smoked a whole doobie, his interview was so “far out man”.


We rushed back to the Sofitel on Copacabana beach and met up with our “leaders” and discussed positions for tomorrow’s final. I will be in a few places, hopefully not all at once. I can’t really say what I will be doing as it’s all very sensitive, but I did then spend the rest of the afternoon rehearsing a world cup trophy presentation on the Maracana pitch with Carlos Puyol, ex player of Spain and Barcelona and Giselle, a famous Brazilian Model, who is adorably crazy!




Tomorrow is going to be a massive day. Keep an eye out in the tunnel and I might be somewhere in the throng at the end!


Two more nights to go before home.



Day 34: What a day! The dark clouds had dispersed overnight and the sun was out. A good omen for the final day of the World Cup.


The Sofitel on the Copacabana is where the FIFA offices are based. The whole first and second floor are a mass of busy dark suits running around organising the largest sporting event in the world.


After yesterday’s rehearsal’s with Giselle and Puyol escorting the trophy to the stadium, am back again. This time its the real thing.


We meet up with Puyol in the lounge area on the executive floor on the second floor. Everyone is quietly nervous.


Giselle, though, is nowhere to be seen and no one knows where she is. The FIFA machine is run like clockwork, anything out of schedule is frowned upon.


Thirty minutes later and still no sign. A few of the men hint at ladies and their timekeeping (not me of course) when a message comes through that Giselle is in a car on her way.

The suits are pulling their hair out. “How can this be? The whole World Cup is now ruined” You can hear them think.


Forty minutes past her call time, she finally arrives with her husband, Tom Brady a three time Superbowl winner and an NFL (American Football) star, as well as her agents and entourage on tow.


She is hyper, talking to everyone at a hundred miles an hour. There is no apology for being late.

I suppose she is just one of those people that is able to bewitch everyone around her with her charm and exuberance.


Because we’re running late, we have to rush through everything, which is my worst nightmare as it means I have to work harder.


The secretary General opens the safe, Puyol takes the Louis Vitton case out of the safe and places it on the desk. Giselle unlocks the case with a special golden key and opens it to reveal the trophy. Puyol is the only person allowed to touch the trophy without gloves as he is a World Cup winner.

He lifts the trophy and admires it for the camera.


Underneath the trophy are engraved all the teams that have won it over the years. Puyol proudly points to Spain who won it in 2010. Giselle makes fun of him as Spain have only won it once to Brazil’s five.


There are hundreds of people crowded outside the hotel waiting for the trophy to make its way.


My mind is on overdrive now. Everything is happening really fast. Filming on my 4K camera is a lot harder than a usual TV camera as focus and exposure are crucial and difficult to do on the fly.


Am walking backwards, down a set of steps following Puyol and Giselle making their way to the car. I am conscious of not falling arse over tit in front of everyone.

I feel my way as much as I can with my sixth sense. I always study an area before I film there and I get an idea of the space, any potential pit falls and who is standing where.


I can feel all the cameras flashing as the two of them jump in the back of the car. I jump in the front, not before calling out for Greg who has a change of lenses for me. I strip down the camera to the bare minimum.


Filming in cars is always painfully cramped. Being a big heffalump doesn’t make it any easier either; I contort and twist myself in all sorts of positions trying to film Giselle and Puyol having a chat while the driver plays a game of “let’s drive into as many potholes as I can” making it an even more challenging experience.


The convoy makes it’s way through the traffic, which is being cleared by a fleet of police on their flashy Harley Davidson’s. Crowds line up the streets to wave and get a glimpse of Giselle and Puyol and the trophy (why people do this, I have no idea)


Giselle is asking Puyol lot’s of questions about football. It’s clear she has no idea about the rules of the sport, but Puyol politely tells her the ins and outs of football and 4-4-2 (joking) and how each player, particularly Messi as he was a team mate of his at Barcelona, perform under pressure. Fascinating to listen to and many a sports nut would have been salivating at some of the things he was saying.




The stadium is filling up, Shakira (grrr) and Santana are both doing their thing in the closing ceremony. We’ve taken a pause in an office in the pits of the stadium for some water.


It’s time for Puyol and Giselle to present the trophy to the world. We’re waiting in the tunnel as both Argentina and Germany return from their warm up. Puyol goes over to Messi and Aguero for a quick catch up, Giselle goes over to Kaka. I have only the head of TV to talk to, so I find out where I can walk without getting in the way of the steadicam.


Right off they go, walk down the tunnel. In the corner of my eye can see the steadicam has moved positions. I know am in his shot and I can imagine the director in some TV box somewhere screaming at the monitor as I know I am ruining his shot. Screw it, I need to do my thing and not worry about them.

It’s hard though, as we approach the pitch the thought of billions of people watching this moment floods my mind and I am even more self conscious of not screwing it up for the live camera.


I am filming on two so called official films simultaneously. Despite that, in the stadium, what the live cameras say goes. They rule the roost and there were plenty of them filming where I was standing and each one felt like those red laser trip wire alarms. One wrong move and am out of here.




A couple of days back we had filmed the selection process for who was to referee the final.

Nicola Rizzoli, an Italian, was the man chosen. To have been able to film that moment when he was picked and seeing him overcome with emotion was TV magic. “Twenty eight years of hard work have finally led to this”, he blubbed.




We followed Nicola and his assistants into their changing room as they prepared themselves, their kit, the foam sprays, making sure all their electronics worked and the whistles were whistling all of this while “Happy” was playing on his iPod. Happy was definitely the mood in that stadium today.


The referees were cool and collected, but under that exterior you could tell they were like a bunch of excited kids and a bag of nerves.


They group hugged and wished each other a good game.


The tunnel was filling up with both sets of players. I stood on the side of the Argentinians and filmed as much of Messi as possible. Every camera does. He’s the main man. Cool as cucumber, not phased at all by the occasion.


And off they went.


I positioned myself behind the Argentina goal and filmed some of the action. A couple of near misses from the Argies, but it was predominantly all German possession.




Then it was back in the tunnel to film on the German side as they came in from half time and again when they went out again.


Decisions decisions now. What do we film? Shall we go behind the goal? Or head upstairs in to the VIP and check out our positions for the trophy lift. We head upstairs to VIP. It’s also an excuse to stuff our faces with some food. We haven’t eaten since breakfast and my head is starting to spin from all the adrenalin and running around.


We go into a back room to film all the medals and trophies being prepared then wait around for the game to finish back in VIP.


Greg comes back from a recce outside. He tells me that he’s found the perfect position to film the trophy lift, only one problem. Without realising it he was standing not two feet from Blatter and Putin. He was quickly booted out before causing a security incident! Bloody good view though I am told.


The game was a stalemate. I wasn’t really concentrating anymore. I was tired and even though this was the final, I was sick of watching football. It was the occasion that gave me the buzz and it was flying by at a hundred miles an hour.


Extra time and finally Germany scored a deserved goal. A sense of relief was felt everywhere.


All of a sudden there was a commotion. Blatter was coming down from VVIP upstairs to lead all the VVIP’s, the trophy and the medals to the presentation area outside. Everyone was flapping around and hundreds of security guards filled the room. Before I knew it, Blatter, Angela Merkel and Dilma Rousseff (the Brazilian President) were walking down the long red carpet towards the exit. I slipped myself in front of them hoping I wasn’t going to get pummelled by some russian security guard. I got away with it. My blue FIFA bib and fifteen special VVIP stickers stuck all over my body and my camera told the world I was allowed to be there. I was the only one filming this. All the photographers had been shuffled away. Brilliant.


It was another walking backwards job, again trying not to trip up over any lip in the red carpet or any security guards foot. I have fallen flat on my back once before on a red carpet and this was not the time or the place for it to happen again especially as they were less than four feet in front of me.

When I reached the exit, I let them all walk past me as I spotted the trophy behind the entourage being handed over to a young brazilian athlete, who I suppose represented something or the other. I focused on her.


Adrenalin pumping, we rushed downstairs. Back through the tunnel. BANG. In front of me was a sight to be seen, a bank of what seemed like thousands of photographers with their lenses pointing up into the stands waiting for the trophy lift. What a shot!


Argentina had just come back from receiving their losers medals and were hanging around (more like moping around) on the pitch, looking jealously up at the Germans.

I spotted Messi and stood behind him so I could get a perfect shot of him looking forlornly at Germany lifting the trophy.




This was supposed to be his best chance to win the World Cup. To say he was gutted was an understatement.


As Germany celebrated on the podium, the Argies went back into their changing rooms, some still in tears.


The Germans make their way down onto the pitch.


Volunteers were strenuously pulling back on ropes which were holding back all the photographers and cameramen from running amok . I stood there watching them. I didn’t want to get stuck in the pack. I wanted to run on the pitch and be free (!). What shall I do. Will I get stopped? The players were running past me. I had to act quick. I chance it. I jump over the cordon and leg it on the pitch and chase after the Germans as they make their way to their fans. No one says a thing. Next minute am running around the Maracana pitch with the delirious German players. There goes Schweinsteiger with the trophy, there’s Podolski, Ozil and Muller jumping on top of each other. “Hey Schweinsteger, show me the medal” He is face fills my frame as he holds the medal up to the lens.



There goes the steadicam. Am in his shot. Screw him. If anyone has anything to say, it’s too late.


Greg is running around behind me, I can hear him shouting instructions: “Schurle is behind you” “To your right, the Coach and Klose”.


As the fireworks light up the night sky above the stadium, the pictures I am getting are stunning. Iconic. Unique. This is the biggest buzz anyone can experience.




I have a fixed prime wide angle lens on my camera and there is no need for a zoom as I fill the frame with close ups of all German players screaming down my lens, showing off their medals and kissing the trophy. Wow! Just wow!




I am ready to collapse. Our whole team is euphoric. How can you beat an experience like that. And incredibly not one single German strangled Greg or pinched my nipple. What a month that was! Thanks Brazil.


I told you the Germans were going to win.