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The book of one man's travels as he follows the FIFA World Cup and his passion for people, sports and adventure around the world.
The book of one man's travels as he follows the FIFA World Cup and his passion for people, sports and adventure around the world.
129 backers pledged £2,683 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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£2,683

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                    This is a story spanning continents and countries.


It begins in the land which created globalisation as we know it...five centuries ago.

It ends in a place populated by the largest forced migration of humanity in history.

Along the way, you will be taken on road trips crossing Europe, taxi rides which end in gun crime, and discover some of the most beautiful places you've never been.

You'll meet people from around the world, from Brazilian anarchists to Portuguese businessmen, from American backpackers to Ecuadorian entrepreneurs.


With a knowledge of languages which allows him to get the inside information, and a knack for getting into places he shouldn't be, the author will show you the world as you have never seen it before.

Talking to locals, tourists, fans and agitators alike he discovers the true story behind the FIFA World Cup and its effect on the people and country of Brasil: history, politics, money, culture, and above all passion, be it for sports or for freedom.


Covering his time in countries as far afield as England, Japan, Germany and South Africa, this is the story of one man's travels, adventures, and passion for people, sports and seeing the world.

                                                *****

     "I left my apartment, my job, my friends and my continent to travel 6,503kms. to the other side of the world, with little to no preparation, to watch some men kick a synthetic sphere around a pre-defined rectangular area.

All I needed to make this summer complete was a piece of paper, and an Algerian..."

                                                           *****

Hi! I'm Doron, a UK-born, multilingual, sports-loving, globe-trotting writer, here to share a book with you.

   It is a book for anyone who loves football/soccer.

   It is a book for anyone who loves travel.

   It is a book for anyone who loves history, culture, comedy and learning about life in general.

It is a book about World Cups, FIFA corruption, fan passion, ticket trouble and the people who follow and love football. 

I have been writing since I was around three years old, (joined up since I was seven or eight), but semi-professionally since 2002.

I have been published on four continents in magazines, websites, blogs, etc, bringing joy to millions, (OK, maybe thousands.)

Featured in The Big Issue magazine, S.Africa, 2010
Featured in The Big Issue magazine, S.Africa, 2010

My blog on literature and travel celebrated its 15,000th hit this year, and my new blog promoting this project hit 7,000 viewers in a single day at the height of the World Cup.

My two biggest passions in life are writing and sports, and this summer I moved to Brazil to combine the two and write a book on my experiences at the World Cup, the fifth one I have attempted to attend, and the third I made it in time for.

At the World Cup, S.Africa 2010
At the World Cup, S.Africa 2010

In order to fund the research and production of this book, I need your help, (i.e. your money), and in exchange you get to own an advanced, personalised copy of 'Benfica to Brazil: a year in football,' and possibly some rare and exclusive World Cup souvenirs which I brought back with me from Brazil, from matchday tickets to limited edition memorabilia.

Things the book will probably include:

  • Past World Cup adventures in Germany and South Africa
  • My time in Lisbon learning Portuguese and following local club side Benfica across Europe
  • A debate on the ethics of supporting a fundamentally corrupt sporting organisation
  • Travel journalism
  • Social commentary
  • Funny bits
  • Football stuff
  • A personalisable, Panini sticker-based front cover
  • An attempt to meet a fan from each of the countries represented, dressed in their national jersey, and possibly with photographic representation (as a stretch goal)
  • Your name!

Things the book will probably not include:

  • An in-depth account of the world financial crisis
  • Pictures of cats

                                                           *****

Here are some excerpts from my daily blog during the World Cup, to give you an idea of the kind of high quality writing you will be signing up for.

{On pre-tournament safety worries}:

"After seeing Croatia beat Australia in a pre-tournament friendly, my new friends and I all crammed into a large taxi and were almost back to the city centre when the only local among us, (a friend of a friend called Anderson), suddenly insisted on getting extremely close to me.

This was because, with the taxi window down, a bunch of kids walking past the car had spotted first his cell phone, and then his silver chain, and decided that they wanted both of them.

One of them reached in to grab his phone, which is when he tried to reposition himself on my lap, (I was sitting in the middle seat, something which, ironically, I usually try not to do).

He fought him off, but then one of the friends decided to reach in and grab the chain, all the while telling us to hand if over, otherwise we were going to get shot. (Unfortunately, I understood what they were shouting at us).

And our taxi driver, stuck in traffic, just sat there..."

                                                           *****

{On my second live match, Germany vs Portugal}

"I have spent the past six months living in Portugal, having an amazing time in Lisbon with some great people and one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world.

That is going to make this blog entry difficult to read for some of my friends back there, and for the thousands of readers I have who have found me through their (and my) love of the most supported club in the world, Benfica.

But I really enjoyed this game.

I may have been one of the most confusing people at the stadium yesterday: wearing my retro 1960’s Benfica jersey, but cheering for Germany in Portuguese , German and occasionally English, I got a few strange looks.

But I lived in Berlin for nine months during the amazing 2006 World Cup, (longer than I’ve lived in Portugal so far, to be fair), and have enjoyed their style of play ever since then, a style and a tournament which, I think, made it acceptable for a Brit to actually admit supporting their eternal rivals..."

                                                           *****

{On FIFA corruption claims shortly before the tournament began}:

"Shocking reports in the news last night claimed that standing in the rain can make you wet, holding your breath for 24 hours often leads to death, and FIFA may have awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar through corruption and illicit deals.

I think it is safe to say that nobody, anywhere, ever was surprised by this news: it just makes you wonder how much more needs to come out before FIFA, (the internationally registered charity with over a billion dollars in their accounts), is actually forced to do something about it.

Never fear, though, they have former US attorney Michael Garcia investigating the case, so everything should be sorted soon, right?

Unless you remember that it was just over a year ago that one of the leading independent anti-corruption experts brought in to clean up FIFA resigned over their lack of action.

I’ll start packing for Qatar now, shall I?…"

                                                           *****

Thanks for dropping by, I hope you decide to back my project, and please share with any sports lovers, travellers, or fans of good writing you may know!

Doron...

                                                 *****UPDATE*****

November 29th 2014: 

From today, as an ADD ON, you can now add £9 to any physical book order, (i.e. any pledge at the £13 level or higher), in order to receive an extra physical copy delivered to your door! 

You can do this multiple times: just raise your pledge by £9 per copy you wish to receive, and when the funding stage is over, I will send you as many copies as you need to give away as presents/gifts/thank yous/bar mitzvah rewards/tips to staff in hotels/etc!

                                                 *****STRETCH GOAL*****

December 12th 2014: 

If we reach our new target of £2,500, I will be sending copies of gorgeous photos from my travels and tales free to all backers who have pledged towards a physical copy of the book.

They will come with a way to insert them into pre-planned blank pages in the finished book, and will look AMAZING!

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Risks and challenges

The major challenge for me is finding the right self-publishing company (or companies) which will enable me to produce a quality product, available to deliver anywhere in the world, at a reasonable price. I already have pricing and shipping options costed from three major self-publishing companies, but much will depend on the numbers of orders the project receives, and from which regions of the world they come. Once the writing is finished, the majority of my time will be dedicated to this issue: this will be possible as writing has already begun, and flies by once I get my teeth into a topic.

It has been a few years since my journalism career required me to write to a deadline, but with a crowd of literature lovers waiting for the finished project, I am sure that the work will be ready to deliver by March 2015, although almost certainly sooner. I have a very time-flexible job which will help in this goal.

Finally, the artistic and technical side of the project, (i.e. designing book covers, formatting the writing for the e-book market, etc.), is not my strong point, but with plenty of friends in various design and technology fields, working collaboratively I am dedicated to making this the best book you will read all year. I already have agreements from people to proof-read, e-design and assist with the graphic aspects of the finished project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $3.17

    THE QUALIFIERS: Your name in the book's 'credits' as a thank you, and a hug/handshake from me the next time I see you.
    (Approx. $3.20US)

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    Pledge £6 or more About $9

    THE OPENING MATCH: A digital copy of the forthcoming summer smash hit book 'BENFICA TO BRAZIL: a year in football' delivered directly to your inbox.

    (Digital copy will be either a PDF or a file compatible with most digital e-readers).

    Your name included in the 'credits.'

    (Approx. $10US)

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    Pledge £13 or more About $21

    THE GROUP STAGE: A real life, professionally printed, perfect bound copy of what is sure to be the literary sensation of 2014, 'BENFICA TO BRAZIL: a year in football,' delivered free of charge to your house/apartment/cave anywhere in the USA or Europe.
    (For all other destinations, see the GROUP STAGE- THE OUTSIDERS level below).

    Your name included in the 'credits.'

    (Approx. $21US)

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    Pledge £20 or more About $32

    THE GROUP STAGE - THE OUTSIDERS: A real life, professionally printed, perfect bound copy of what is sure to be the literary sensation of 2014, 'BENFICA TO BRAZIL: a year in football,' delivered free of charge to your house/apartment/cave anywhere in the world.
    (For destinations in the USA and Europe, see the GROUP STAGE - THE FAVOURITES level above).

    Your name included in the 'credits.'

    (Approx. $32US)

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    Pledge £30 or more About $47

    THE KNOCK-OUT ROUNDS: A real life SIGNED and PERSONALISED professionally printed, perfect bound copy of the soon to be sold-out best-selling book, 'BENFICA TO BRAZIL: a year in football,' delivered to your house/gated compound/secret super-villain lair.

    A mystery piece of World Cup memorabilia, (anything from Panini stickers to team magnets!)

    Your name included in the 'credits.'

    (Approx. $48US)

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    Pledge £40 or more About $63

    THE QUARTER FINALS: A real life SIGNED and PERSONALISED professionally printed, perfect bound copy of the soon to be sold-out best-selling book, 'BENFICA TO BRAZIL: a year in football,' delivered to your house/gated compound/secret super-villain lair.

    A genuine 2014 World Cup match ticket to use as a special, limited edition bookmark.

    (Tickets come from a variety of matches, from Spain vs Holland to USA vs Belgium: specific team requests will be taken into consideration).

    Your name included in the 'credits.'

    (Approx. $65US)

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    Pledge £60 or more About $95

    THE SEMI FINALS: A real life SIGNED and PERSONALISED professionally printed, perfect bound copy of the soon to be sold-out best-selling book, 'BENFICA TO BRAZIL: a year in football,' delivered to your house/gated compound/secret super-villain lair.

    A genuine 2014 World Cup match-specific OR city-specific limited edition plastic cup, from either Coca-Cola OR beer sponsor Brahma.

    (Cups come from a variety of matches, from Spain vs Holland to USA vs Belgium; and from two Host Cities, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador de Bahia. Specific team and city requests will be taken into consideration).

    Your name included in the 'credits.'

    (Approx. $100US)

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    Pledge £70 or more About $111

    THE THIRD/FOURTH PLACE PLAY OFF: A SIGNED and PERSONALISED professionally printed, perfect bound copy of the book delivered to your door, PLUS both the match ticket AND game cup from the QUARTER FINAL and SEMI FINAL levels.

    i.e. Includes everything in both the £40 and £60 levels.
    (Approx. $115US)

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    Pledge £100 or more About $158

    THE FINAL: A real life SIGNED and PERSONALISED professionally printed, perfect bound copy of the revolutionary writing project commonly known as, 'BENFICA TO BRAZIL: a year in football,' delivered to your house/hovel/hippy commune, and a reading from me at said abode/your favourite café for you, your friends, your family, and any strangers in the vicinity at the time.

    (n.b: Reward will come to fruition the next time I am in the same country as you: it is probably not financially viable for me to fly to your house on the other side of the world).

    Alternatively, I will give a reading to be transmitted to you and friends of your choice by Skype followed by a Q&A session, OR give a reading in the jersey of your choice, in your name, to be filmed and sent to you electronically.

    Your name included in the 'credits'.

    (Approx. $160US)

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Funding period

- (60 days)