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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times

Work / Illustration

World Cup 2014: Christoph Niemann goes in search of Brazil’s World Cup curse

This is just tremendous on so many levels. Peerless visual storyteller Christoph Niemann headed to Brazil ahead of the World Cup to explore the so-called Cure of Maracana (the country’s main soccer stadium). It dates back to 1950 when a howler by Brailian goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa handed the tournament to Uruguay, much to the anguish of a nation and the ruin of Barbosa. In Christoph’s brilliant mind, the curse becomes his companion with whom he explores Rio, before heading up to Brasilia to admire the modernist architecture there. But the memory of Barbosa and his sad fate gatecrashes his sightseeing (quite literally) and he is forced to return to Rio on the hunt for Brazil’s football soul.

It’s beautifully put together and tells a very different story to those rammed down our throats over recent weeks. Praise too for developer Jon Huang who makes it such a complete package. This is not only a genuinely engaging World Cup related project, it’s also a terrific example of digital storytelling.

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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times

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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times

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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times

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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times

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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times

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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times

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Christoph Niemann: My Travels With Brazil’s Curse of Maracana for The New York Times