Where to catch World Cup action

Soccer fans rejoice, the World Cup is finally upon us and despiteCanada once again missing out on the biggest soccer party in the world,fans will be flocking to their favourite pub, hall or coffee shop totake in the beautiful game.

Soccer fans rejoice, the World Cup is finally upon us and despite Canada once again missing out on the biggest soccer party in the world, fans will be flocking to their favourite pub, hall or coffee shop to take in the beautiful game.

Overtime Broiler and Taproom, on the south side, is being billed by one group of expats as England’s unofficial World Cup headquarters.

Stuart Bendall has been busy over the months leading up to tomorrow’s kick off, organizing England fans through Facebook and email.

“I’m kind of doing it for selfish reasons because I want to hang out with a load of English people and drink and support the team,” Bendall said. “I think it will be great on the south side because a lot of expats live on that side of the city.”

If bangers and mash isn’t your thing, how about sipping a cappuccino in Little Italy while watching the Azzurri take on Paraguay?

Café Epoca is one of the places to be if you’re an Italian fan. Server Aaron Marrazzo said the streets in Little Italy will be full.

“It should be fully packed, especially because we’re in Little Italy,” he said. “The streets get crowded when Italy wins a game and that’s why people want to come down here and check out the atmosphere. It’s exciting.”

Marrazzo is half Italian and half Portuguese, but it’s clear who he’s cheering for once the whistle blows.

“I always cheer for Italy,” he said. “The Portuguese people come here on a normal day but when their team is playing, they won’t be coming here.”

Instead, some of the approximately 10,000 Portuguese Edmontonians will be at the Café Solneve Pub and Bar on 95 Street just north of Little Italy.

Antonio Alexandre comes from Portugal originally but has lived in Edmonton for the past 30 years.

Alexandre said if he’s not watching the games at home, he’ll be at Solneve.

“I like to be around a lot of people,” he said. “It’s like when you go to the stadium and there are thousands of people, the vibrations from one transmit to the others. You can cheer, you can swear, you can do anything.”

Alexandre and the rest of the Portuguese fans hope they’ll have something to cheer about come mid-July, but even if they don’t, the atmosphere will be great and they can always cheer against their rivals.

“I wish for Italy to lose all their games,” he said. “I’m Portuguese, I only cheer for Portugal. I hope Brazil goes out in the first round.”

 
 
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