World Cup Paper Review: Brazil Start the Party as Focus Turns Towards England

BR-UK StaffFeatured Columnist IVJune 12, 2014

Brazil's Fred sits on the pitch as Croatian players Vedran Corluka (5), Dejan Lovren (6) and Ivan Rakitic (7) protest after referee Yuichi Nishimura, from Japan, called a penalty against Croatia during the group A World Cup soccer match in the opening game of the tournament at Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Brazil's Neymar scored on a penalty kick after the play. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Frank Augstein/Associated Press

Friday's newspapers, as you might expect, celebrate the start of the World Cup in a number of bold and inventive (and not so inventive) ways.

Brazil's come-from-behind victory over Croatia is the focus for most newspapers, although England's looming opener against Italy on Saturday remains the key consideration for some.

To kick things off, The Times brings back the wraparound covers that proved so popular during the Olympic Games, declaring the "party started" in Brazil as Neymar celebrates his crucial goal.

The Daily Telegraph follows an almost identical theme with its sport section frontage, although it is perhaps interesting to note that its first edition (almost certainly sent to press before Brazil's game finished) carried an altogether less positive story about the tournament getting underway.

The Sun, meanwhile, ignores such trivial matters as the opening game—focusing instead on one player who might face England in the next 10 days. That man is Luis Suarez, with the paper leading with his appearance in training as he battles back from recent knee surgery.

The main story on the back page is devoted to club matters, however, with Cesc Fabregas admitting to Arsenal disappointment as he joins Chelsea from Barcelona.

The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, runs with the headline "Match of the Spray." No, this is not a reference to the vanishing spray used by referees during this tournament, but the revelation that ground staff have sprayed the pitch in Manaus—where England will face Italy on Saturday—green, so as to cover up the state of the worn, uneven playing surface to television audiences worldwide.

How dare they.

The Independent chooses to keep its focus on matters that have happened, focusing on Neymar after his decisive role in Brazil's opening win. "Neymar bursts onto the stage" is their chosen headline.