Ground From Above - Terrão de Cima by Renato Stockler

"A ‘terrão’ (earthen field) is an oasis in the urban landscape. The reddish tone of a soccer field turns into a stage for resistance of popular soccer. These fields are increasingly rare to be seen because of property speculation and land occupation, and they standing as a spirit of resilience." - Renato Stockler

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Where The Average Weekend Is Anything But: Portland and The Timbers Army

Photos captured by Jordan Beard

Over the past week, Portland, Oregon was situated right on the middle of the global game’s map. From Thierry Henry to Mario Götze, icons and phenoms were filling the streets as the MLS All-Stars welcomed Bayern Munich to town. We were at Providence Park for that match, and it was great. But it wasn’t Portland.

The stadium was packed to the brim and full of fans from overseas, but it wasn’t Portland. So, we returned to see this city’s side play Chivas USA to take in an "average game" and witness the atmosphere that the Timbers Army and company could create.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Embracing the game in Basel

Not every match can be a World Cup final, and it won’t be that way for another four years. So while we brace for a new season in Europe’s major leagues, Ryu Voelkel is already back in action, traveling the continent to capture the game unseen by most. He recently visited Switzerland to see Basel take on Luzern, and the kids, fans, and vibrant stadium stole the show.

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Watching People Watching The World Cup

You’ve seen the thousands of photos of goal celebrations, player reactions, and crushing images of fans sitting alone in stadiums. Photographer Jane Stockdale decided to take a different approach. She jumped on a plane to Brazil to shoot audiences, not matches.

There were packed beaches. There were desolate bars. Her project, Watching the World Cup, shows the month of madness in a refreshingly human light.

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Capturing The 2014 World Cup: A Photographer’s Guide

Words and Photography by Ryu Voelkel

It’s been a while. So forgive me. Por favor. And this is a long one so I suggest you make some tea or coffee before digging in.

I thought I would talk about my experience as a professional freelance photographer shooting the World Cup. Not the ones who work for an agency or a newspaper. Basically, a backpacker’s guide to shooting the World Cup. Beleza.


First of all, I was there to shoot as many matches as possible. I estimated 21 and fell 1 short and ended up with 20. Why? I got killed by the fog in Curitiba which grounded my plane until the match in Belo Horizonte started.

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More Than Just a Flag
The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.
Regardless of color, creed, or orientation, we’re all fans, and we’re all family. [Posted by Nathen]

More Than Just a Flag

The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.

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Against All Odds: Atleti in the Camp Nou

Anthony Lopopolo was at the Camp Nou, camera in hand, to capture some of the scenes over the weekend.

A few seconds after Alexis Sanchez scored that first goal for Barcelona, an Atletico Madrid fan tucked underneath an overhang in Camp Nou held his head in his hands and couldn’t control the tears. He thought it was over.

Both Diego Costa and Arda Turan had gone off with injuries. It looked like Atletico were going to lose the league in the final game at Camp Nou. Then Diego Godin scored off a header, and the fan leapt. He was leading chants the rest of the game, a small section of Atletico supporters in the bottom corner of the stadium.

After the final whistle, signaling a the title-clinching draw for Atletico, a Barca fan turned around and shook his rival’s hands. Those remaining applauded Atletico. They know what it takes to win.

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Ryu x Rio - AFR Voice Ep. 41

Over the last few years, AFR has had the great fortune of sharing with you the work of Ryu Voelkel – professional football photographer and host of the Big Lens Fast Shutter podcast. Thank the football gods, he’ll be in Brazil this summer to capture the essence of the beautiful game in his unmistakable style – poetic, poignant and just plain beautiful to look at.

You can own a piece of the action too – Ryu has just embarked on a Kickstarter project. He’s raising funds to produce a photography book showcasing the very best of his snaps from the tournament – from the fruits of his exceptional access metres from the action to the beauty of the Brazilian nation bathing in the ultimate football festival, it’s going to be a stunning souvenir of the 2014 World Cup. Back his project here.

We spoke to Ryu to find out about the inspiration for the project, how funders can get their hands on the book and why the World Cup is the perfect sporting canvas for his talents.

This show also sees us highlight the major absentees and attendees of the World Cup, remember some of the greatest moments of the freshly retired Ryan Giggs and analyse the potential legacy of Arsenal finally ending their trophy drought with a thrilling FA Cup victory.

All that plus, a predictable but unabashed gushing of praise for La Liga victors Atletico Madrid. With such a low budget, small squad and monumental competitors, nothing could possibly overshadow their seismic against-all-odds achievement…except possibly Andrea Pirlo getting very drunk on an open top bus.

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The World’s Best Football Photographer and The World Cup: Ryu x Rio

We’ve featured the sublime photography of Ryu Voelkel on AFR for years, so - unless you’re remarkably new here - the man hardly needs an introduction. But he does need your help.

Ryu captures the game’s atmosphere and aesthetics in ways that no one else can, and he wants to tell a story unlike anything you’ll see around this summer’s World Cup. He has already been given the green light by FIFA to shoot matches, but he needs support to spend the month in Brazil, travel to the tournament’s biggest matches, and create an incredible book around the 2014 World Cup. If you appreciate great photography and support independent artists, get behind Ryu’s Kickstarter.

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