WORLD CUP 2014
JUNE 12-JULY 13
THIS year's World Cup is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent history, and the eight winners of The Straits Times contest heading to Brazil this week are ready to dive into the heart of the action.
The winners - two from a contest in partnership with Komoco Motors, and three father-son pairs from the McDonald's player escort contest - will be watching the Colombia-Uruguay round-of- 16 match (4am, Sunday, Singapore time).
The three kids from the Straits Times-McDonald's contest will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to walk out onto the field with the players.
The two winners from the Straits Times-Komoco contest will also catch the match between the Group E winners and Group F runners-up, plus a quarter-final match potentially featuring France and Germany.
Despite not having any Colombian or Uruguayan players among his idols, player escort Jovan Koh is not complaining.
The 10-year-old said: "I am very excited and I can't wait to reach Brazil. It is quite a shocking World Cup so far, with Spain not even reaching the last 16."
Joining him on the plane early this morning were fellow escorts Christopher David and Nadir Haziq, and their fathers.
Christopher, eight, has already done his homework for the trip. The Brazil fan said: "I am exhilarated to go and I have learnt a little Portuguese and also read up on the whole Brazil team.
"I am bringing small Singapore flags and stamps over so, hopefully, they will exchange flags with me."
Picking up Portuguese was not just restricted to young Christopher. The Straits Times-Komoco contest winner Foo Cexiang, 28, revealed that he had been learning Portuguese to talk to the locals.
He is one of those pleased with Uruguay's 1-0 victory over Italy yesterday morning, having hoped for a Uruguay-Colombia match-up.
Foo added: "The support for South American teams has been incredible, and it will be an electrifying atmosphere if it is between two teams from that continent."
Making the trip with him were contest winner Dennis Tan and Jeffrey Low, the Komoco spokesman and a former Straits Times journalist who has covered eight World Cups.
The two contests are part of the Straits Times Appreciates Readers programme, an ongoing effort to reach out to readers and the community.
This article was first published on June 26, 2014.
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