Europe News

Watching the World Cup in Soccer's Home

CNBC.com

The World's Top Tournament

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Visit London during the World Cup and you are never far from a TV showing the matches. The UK's multicultural capital catered to fans of all nations — even the Germans — with dedicated supporters' pubs and bars. But many just mingled with fellow fans from across the globe to sing and jeer the referee.

And despite England's premature exit (at least according to JPMorgan), the party is set to continue until the final.

Spain Reigns in South Africa

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Spain's late goal sealed its first World Cup win, following its European Championship win in 2008. Spanish fans stopped traffic in London's West End, partying into the night under the watch of some tolerant police officers.

Can You See the Score?

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Those who didn't capture a seat early Sunday to watch the final match were forced to try and catch a glimpse of the action through the windows of pubs and bars. Many venues required tickets beforehand. London streets were extremely quiet, except for those mingling around a bar or rushing to a screen when they heard the shouts coming out of the pubs.

Next Stop Madrid

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Buses heading to West London after the match were packed with partying Spain fans, chanting and singing songs at every stop.

Early Exit Again for Brazil

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

With five World Cup trophies, Brazil is the definition of success in soccer. But the team lost for the second straight tournament in the quarter finals. That quickly led to the firing of manager Dunga. The country will host the 2014 World Cup finals.

Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Spanish fans crammed into The Camino bar in North London, both inside and in the courtyard. From leading the cheers during the national anthem to the delerium after Spain's second-half goal, the fans kept the noise and excitement up non-stop.

The Icon of the Plasma

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

With warm and unusually dry summer weather, many London bars brought TVs into courtyards and offered barbecue specials with entry. Dutch fans watched their team advance to the semifinal, favoring the outdoors of this Shoreditch bar to the inside where the Uruguay fans dwelled.

Third Time Not a Charm

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Nervous Dutch fans mingled outside London's De Hems bar at the quarter final, visibly worried about the threat of Brazil. But the team clad in orange beat the South American powerhouse 2-1. The Netherlands reached its third World Cup final, but failed at the last hurdle again.

Punks Up for the Cup

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

From punks in Soho pubs, to commuters in train stations and high-end restaurants offering special World Cup cocktails, football gripped the city.

Utter Disbelief

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

That gesture is the involuntary outrage expressed by the soccer fan when a call is botched by the referee. At The Durrell pub in West London, spirits were high as England appeared to equalize with their second goal against Germany.

Replays, as those in the pub saw, proved the ball clearly crossed the line following Frank Lampard's strike. But that's not what the referee saw. FIFA President Sepp Blatter apologized to England, but that is likely little consolation to the country looking for its first World Cup triumph since 1966.

Rubbing It In

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

A German fan in London takes a opportunity to remind shop window filled with England soccer regalia and memorabilia just who came out on top.

That Must Be a Big Bucket

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Most business in London — from dry cleaners to electronics retailers — had some kind of World Cup promotion. But most of the deals were in the bars and restaurants.

The pictured promotion was at a pub catering to USA fans ahead of their opening match against England. At $133.20, that beer deal qualifies for gouging the Yanks. But we're betting it's a misprint.

The Party of Trafalgar

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Trafalgar Square, traditional party site for New Year's Eve in London, was the big meeting point for fans of many countries - including those of England. Many came from out of town.

Electronic Arts kicked off the World Cup by sponsoring a soccer video game tournament complete with big screen in the square, where fans were also able to watch the opening ceremonies and opening match.

Penalty Remorse

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Fans of Paraguay commiserate over the missed penalty that could have seen their team take the lead against Spain. Forward Oscar Cardoza's shot to the right of goal was saved by Spain's Iker Casillas.

Parlour for England

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Among the promotions across the city at the start of the World Cup were chances to meet international players. Former England defender Ray Parlour appeared at a Ladbrokes bookmakers near Trafalgar Square. His bet on 2-0 win for England over the USA didn't come up, though.

Hoping to Restore Glory

Photo by Sharon Lorimer

Uruguay has already won two World Cups, the inaugural tournament in 1930, beating Argentina, and again in 1950, beating Brazil. The team has surpassed expectations in 2010, to the delight of the small, but dedicated contingent of Uruguay fans that congregate at Zoo Bar in Leicester Square.