Former FIFA World Cup winner Geoff Hurst has urged fans to flock to Brazil for next year’s tournament for more than just football.
Hurst scored a hat-trick to help England clinch the 1966 FIFA World Cup as they overcame West Germany 4-2 in the final.
The lead-up to next year’s World Cup finals has been overshadowed by public protests in Brazil against the large-scale spending on football stadiums rather than using the money to overhaul the South American country’s health system and improve law and order.
But despite that, Hurst remains adamant the World Cup will benefit Brazil, while he also believes it will be about more than football for the international fans who attend.
“I think everybody is excited, not just because of the football and being in Brazil to watch the football but also because it is an interesting country that people want to visit,” Hurst said.
“I think what makes that important for the fans is not just the fact that they’re going to watch a game of football, they’re going to be there for a few days.
“And they’re going to go on the beach of Ipanema, Copacabana or whatever the iconic places are and I think that’s what’s going to make it such a sensational event.”