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Goal.com takes a snapshot of the biggest city in Brazil as they prepare to host World Cup 2014

SAO PAULO
Population: 1,376,685
Location: South east
Stadium: Arena Corinthians
Big Clubs: Corinthians, Palmeiras & Sao Paulo

Welcome to Sao Paulo for World Cup 2014

Sao Paulo is Brazil's largest city and the sixth biggest in the world. Known for being one of the hubs of economical activity in South America, the metropolis has significant cultural, political and economic influence in Brazil.

In Three Words

Culture, party and food.

Local History

Originally discovered by Portuguese explorers in 25 January, 1554, Sao Paulo officially became a city in 1711. Early trade involved the discovery of gold in the late 17th century which was then invested in several profitable sugarcane plantations.

Sao Paulo benefited heavily from the introduction of coffee in 1727 and once the boom had fizzled out nearly 200 years later, the city had branched into other industries as was now known as a culturally diverse metroplis with power politically and economically.

Where To Party

To eat - Mercearia do Frances: Located in Sao Paulo's Higienopolis area, Mercearia do Frances has built a reputation for offering good quality French food at affordable prices. The restaurant offers a range of traditional French dishes with the standout being their take on the classic moules and frites.

To drink - Bar Numero: This stylish lounge bar and club is one of the hippest in the city, known for attracting a relatively young and wealthy crowd. The venue is split into two distinct spaces: the main bar which is filled with comfortable brown leather couches along with a verdant courtyard providing a necessary counterbalance to all that concrete, glass and leather.

To dance - Disco (below): One of the city's premier nightspots, Disco received a significant face lift in 2012 to make it one of the most interesting-looking clubs in Brazil. With its retro furniture, the venue gives a nod to 1970s Brazilian disco while playing music from the past and present.




Famous Players

Perhaps the most decorated player from Sao Paulo is Brazil legend Cafu. The former right-back is the nation's record caps holder, making 142 appearances for the Selecao during his 16-year international career. The city is also home to one of the players who could be integral for Brazil's bid to win World Cup 2014 on home soil, Lucas Moura. The talented attacker, who cost Paris Saint-Germain in the region of €45 million, is a talented right-sided attacker who will be keen to showcase his ability to the world in 2014.


Famous Attractions

Ibirapuera Park: The park is one of the largest in South America and is one of the main features of Sao Paulo. It has a large area for leisure, jogging and walking while also hosting a convention centre in its grounds. Its stature in the city is comparable to that of Central Park in New York.

Paulista Avenue: The avenue is recognised as one of the most important in Brazil. The road is well known for being home to a number of the city's most important financial and cultural institutions while also hosting a large shopping area and the Sao Paulo Museum of Art.

Museum of Football: Any visit to Sao Paulo should be complete with a trip to the museum of football in the Estadio do Pacaembu. The museum is full of Brazilian football memorabilia, photographs and offers attendees the chance to get involved in a number of exciting interactive games.

Did You Know?

Because of this wide mix of culture, the city hosts over 12,500 restaurants serving 52 types of cuisine from all over the world. Sao Paulo is home to 320 cinemas, 180 theatres, 110 museums, 39 cultural centres, 80 shopping malls and one of the most modern metro systems in the world. 

Famous Citizen

Perhaps the most famous citizen to emerge from Sao Paulo is the late great Ayrton Senna, widely known as one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers in the history of the sport. Winning three World Championships during an illustrious racing career, the Sao Paulo native tragically died in 1994 during the San Marino Grand Prix.

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