Everyone across the globe is ready for The World Cup.

It's a pity Cuiaba isn't.

Sign O The Times.. Cuiaba stadium days before The World Cup begins .

Sign O The Times.. Cuiaba stadium days before The World Cup begins.


In fact, when you arrive in this Brazilian frontier town you'd be forgiven for thinking Godzilla had stomped down the main road leaving monster potholes.

All around us the city looks like a work in progress.

 Tall building construction covets the skyline. The light rail promised to ferry passengers from the airport for The World Cup resembles a toddlers discarded train set. 

Where Australia announces its festivals of sport with banners and bunting for every available flagpole and shop window, Cuiaba is impressively unadorned. Not a flag or banner to be seen, just endless building sites, dirt roads and traffic jams.

The social dividend promised by the bandits at FIFA for hosting The World Cup have clearly bypassed Cuiaba.

Don't get me wrong. Brazilians love their football with an operatic passion, it's just that they're too busy with the serious business of living to make too much fuss about it. 

When it comes to game day, that's a different matter. 

This dust bowl town planted in the geographic heart of South America - there's a monument in town proclaiming to be the spot - will come to life with football pumping through its veins like it was living its last day on earth. 

It's the sort of mentality Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos must harness if their World Cup Campaign isn't to end before it begins out here on the edge of The Amazon.


Play like there's no tomorrow. Disregard history and reputation. Get your hands dirty in the heat and the dust. Go to work with the intent of getting a job done.

 Be the player you want to be rather than the players they say you are.

Shock the world.

These are the themes Postecoglou has woven into the DNA of this team.

Since they arrived in camp in Australia over a month ago he has had the monumental task of reprogramming this team of global no names into one thing and one thing only.

A team that believes.

Without that vital ingredient, defeat will be swift and heavy. Postecoglou knows his team doesn't have the speed and exuberance of Chile, the fluency and art of The Spanish or the Dutch. 

But it can be fitter. It can be tougher. it can be scary. And it must believe.

Cuiaba is sure to turn on another lung bursting 30 degree day Friday for the game. It's an unforgiving heat that will immediately expose anyone whose heart won't carry the burden of what is sure to be an exhausting contest.

On days like that, work ethic is everything. It may not win you the match, but you will not win without it either.

Postecolgou has promised a team forged in heat, made of steel and unwilling to yield. He has lead the way as he has built a new look Socceroos with little sentiment.

The revolution has had it's casualties. Mark Schwarzer's recent comments outlined the hurt felt by those who paid the price. 

The Socceroos boss has put it all on the line. He's gone out alone, uncompromising and unapologetic.

He could never have known it would lead him here, to this place beyond imagining, but here he is.

Briefly, brightly at the centre of the football universe.

Cuiaba may not be ready.

Let's pray Ange Postecoglou and his Socceroos are.