With Italy coach Cesare Prandelli putting a spotlight on the unpredictable weather in areas hosting the tournament, our team in Brazil looks at what the conditions have been like.
|THE NORTH||NATAL, RECIFE, FORTALEZA, SALVADOR|
MARK DOYLE, SALVADOR:
So neither the heat nor the humidity has been a talking point. Discussion of the conditions was raised once during the Swiss news conference as the Schweizer Nati were coming from Brasilia, but they finished very strongly against France. We were surprised there were no water breaks during the 1 p.m. kickoff between Portugal and Germany, but the former's exhaustion at the end of that game was down to Pepe's first-half dismissal — not the weather.
LUIS HERRERA, NATAL
Ghana-USA and Japan-Greece actually enjoyed decent playing conditions thanks to the 7 p.m. starts; hot and humid, but not to extreme levels, with slight rain before the latter. Italy-Uruguay on Tuesday, at 1 p.m., will probably be a different story.
ROBIN BAIRNER, FORTALEZA:
The weather in Fortaleza is invariably hot and humid, barely dropping below 75 degrees since I arrived. The official temperature at kick off today was 84 degrees, with 70 percent humidity, which made it feel a good deal hotter. This was a pretty typical day here.
|CENTRAL BRAZIL||BELO HORIZONTE, BRASILIA, CUIABA
BEN HAYWARD, BELO HORIZONTE:
Belo Horizonte is hot in the day, but pretty cool in the evenings. All of the games so far have taken place at 1 p.m. and the next group game and the second round match will be played at that time. That's the hottest time of the day and some players have visibly tired, while the pitch has also looked quite dry.
To preserve it, FIFA ordered Argentina and Iran to train elsewhere on the day before their match. Fernando Gago said today: "The pitch was dry and very hard. It was also really hot out there." Peak temperatures are between 75 and 80 degrees with humidity around 63 to 68 percent.
STEFAN COERTS, BRASILIA:
Brasilia is probably one of the few cities where the weather hasn't played much of a role yet. It's been warm here, with temperatures ranging from around 75 to 85 degrees, but humidity doesn't seem to be much of a problem here.
It was a comfortable 77 degrees for the game between Ecuador and Switzerland and I didn't hear any of the players complain. It was slightly warmer for the match between Colombia and Cote d'Ivoire, but I reckon both sides were used to higher temperatures because the heat has not really been a subject.
PETER STAUNTON, CUAIBA:
It's been generally hot and humid for the matches in Cuiaba, with all games so far kicking off in the latest available time slot with good reason. There is a stickiness in the air and the temperatures have been high, at around 90 degrees, for kickoff for all of the games.
Things were probably worst in the Russia-South Korea game when the players took a couple of unofficial water breaks when some others went down injured. That said, it's not been so hot as to affect the flow of the games.
||RIO DE JANEIRO, SAO PAULO, CURITIBA, PORTO ALEGRE
LIAM TWOMEY, RIO DE JANEIRO:
The temperature in Rio never goes below 65 degrees, even at night, and most of the days have been hot regardless of whether it is sunny or cloudy. Humidity has not been a huge factor in either match at the Maracana. Argentina was sluggish in the first half against Bosnia (7 p.m. kickoff local time) but that was more an issue of tactics than anything physical, and Chile (4 p.m. kickoff) produced one of the most dynamic performances of the tournament so far to beat Spain.
KRIS VOAKES, SAO PAULO:
Sao Paulo has served up reasonably modest temperatures so far, and with the climate here resembling mainland Europe and parts of the Southern Hemisphere further removed from the equator, it has even become cold during the second week of the tournament.
There was sunshine and a pleasant evening air to greet the tournament's opening fixture between Brazil and Croatia, but when Uruguay and England faced off seven days later, the mercury had dropped a significant amount. Increased temperatures are due to return, but the stickiness being experienced in the north is highly unlikely to become an issue in the country's biggest city.
PILAR SUAREZ, CURITIBA:
I don't think the weather has had a direct impact on the teams that have played here. I also remember Jordi Alba saying at news conference that Spain, which is based here, felt comfortable with this cold weather and it has not been a problem in its performances.
MATHEUS HARB, PORTO ALEGRE:
After some mild temperatures, winter has finally arrived at Porto Alegre, with temperatures hardly going over 65 degrees during the day, and getting as low as 50 degrees at night. As is common around here, some dense fog in the mornings lasts until about noon.
It rained when the World Cup commenced but that had passed when Beira-Rio had its debut for France-Honduras last Sunday. Should the weather remain as dry as it is right now, tourists and teams can count themselves lucky, because rain can last as long as a week here.
SAM LEE, MANAUS:I'm not sure if people are overplaying the heat in Manaus a little. Maybe I've just gotten used to it, but I think people were expecting it to be this big, crazy heat and are playing up to that. Paulo Bento just illustrated the point: "It would be difficult to ignore it with so many people talking about it. Even if it was slightly less humid we would still be thinking it was very humid."
When I spoke to Croatia's Ivan Rakitic after the game the other night, though, he said he couldn't breathe properly and described how hard it is. That was on probably the "coldest" night since I've been here.
Cesare Prandelli and Giorgio Chiellini also said that they should have had water breaks. I think that's basic sports science; they will sweat more so they do need to keep hydrated. So from that point of view it will definitely affect players, but I don't think the quality has suffered too much.
I've spoken to people about the heat here and some have suggested that since Roy Hodgson brought it up in December everybody has overplayed it, and the idea of playing in the jungle in general.