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Sonoma County soccer fans catching World Cup fever (w/video)

For the next month, soccer fans will experience blood, sweat and tears. Some of that may actually happen on the field.

Welcome to the World Cup.

"It's the mother of them all," said Scott Johnson of Sebastopol, a passionate Uruguay fan who anticipates arranging both his professional and personal life around matches for the next four weeks.

In sheer size, the World Cup is unparalleled.

In 2010, more than 3.2 billion people watched tournament broadcasts and more than 3 million people attended the 64 tournament matches in South Africa.

This year's host, Brazil, is the only nation to take home the winner's trophy five times and is considered the epicenter of all things futebol.

Soccer, in the country of 199million people, is known as "jogo bonito" — the beautiful game.

"When the World Cup is in Brazil, it's like a pilgrimage," Rahim Adamu of Santa Rosa said.

Adamu, a native of Ghana, is among a relatively small contingent of Sonoma County fanatics who will make the journey to South America to watch games and enjoy the atmosphere. Still more fans are arranging work and family schedules — their lives — around the tournament that kicks off Thursday with a match between Brazil and

Croatia.


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