After spending much of the last few weeks writing about the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, I am turning my attention to the here and now. The 2010 tournament starts in South Africa on Friday and as always, Brazil are among the favourites.

But here in Brazil the World Cup is as much about partying as it is about football. It’s also about commerce, as I describe in this Time magazine piece that went online today.

It’s common to hear Brazilians say they only become football fans at World Cup time and a look at the bars and restaurants packed for games, as well as the shops selling green and yellow trinkets, confirms that.

Once the tournament gets under way, I’ll be blogging for the Christian Science Monitor and perhaps Time magazine too, about South America’s two favourites, Brazil and Argentina.

The tournament begins on Friday when the host nation takes on Mexico. Argentina’s first game is against Nigeria on Saturday, while Brazil kick off their campaign against North Korea on June 15.