World Cup Diary: Frantically finding Costa Rica flags

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Our hopeful customer Scott Jardine is just one leg away from a £3000 payday and on another hectic day in Brazil it’s been taking care of business in the UK that’s been occupying a large part of my time.

World Cup Diary

04:00 – Do you remember the customer of ours I spoke about who we think is one of the only people to have backed Costa Rica to win all of their games?

It turns out the papers are pretty keen to speak  to him too but they want to get him in a Costa Rica shirt, which needs to arrive in Worthing on the South Coast in 4 hours.

That might have been a struggle if I was in Rayners Lane, but from Brazil I drift to an even bigger price.

Still, there’s nothing more I love doing in the small hours of Monday morning than trying to locate Costa Rica shirts from half-way around the world..

05:00 – It looks like there are only a handful of Los Ticos replicas for sale in the country and annoyingly the stockists are all based in places like Devon, Glasgow and Mansfield.

Not ideal! The giant that is Sports Direct also lists them on their website but trying to speak to them in the phone is like trying to crack into the Pentagon so we end up plumping for a flag.

06:30 – With minutes to spare, I find a flag from a stockist in Chatham, Kent. Minutes later it is in a courier’s van and on the way to Worthing. Job done!

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08:10 – I feel pretty triumphant after that so celebrate by eating by far my biggest breakfast of the trip.

12:15 – News coming in that Costa Rica continue to be absolutely smashed in the market and for the first time in an England game, our rivals will kick off with more English cash on their backs. Remarkable.

13:00 – The media are about to go to their final England press conference of the trip. One senior writer is asked what he feels and just shrugs his shoulders, saying he wish he could print just that while others are doing their best to look to the future with the new crop of players.

14:00 – Time to explore what at first glance seems a really lovely, laidback city. As ever I’m in search of England fans.

17:00 – I head to Savassi which features the first ‘unofficial’ fan zone I have come across.

As you can imagine the atmosphere in here for the Brazil game is electric and far less spotlessly-corporate than any of the official venues.

Many people gather round televisions outside restaurants and bars and the famailar cry of ‘cerveja, cerveja’ rings through the area as the beer vendors haul their carts through the crowds.

18:00 – Perfect timing as I interview some England fans just as Fred scores Brazil’s second goal of the game.

19:20 – I’m a big fan of the takeaway food camper vans and those who have installed flatscreen TVs for the World Cup are doing a significantly brisker trade.

20:00 – As we digest the game, the traders send me an email quoting Neymar at just 10/1 to become the all-time leading international goalscorer. There’s a prize for anyone who can say (without looking it up) who the current record holder is.

22:00 – It’s really lively in here now and plenty of England fans are getting into the party spirit.

The fans I speak to don’t seem down at all about results and are putting their best foot forward  when it comes to enjoying themselves in the dying embers of England’s World Cup. Hats off.

Read all about my World Cup odyssey on Ladbrokes News and follow me on Twitter @LadsAlex!

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Alex Donohue

One third of Ladbrokes' PR team, Alex covers football, politics and current affairs and is also involved in the bookmaker's SPFL sponsorship. Check out his latest press releases and odds at Ladbrokes News.