The German national soccer team claimed its fourth World Cup title in a 1-0 nail-biter over Argentina on Sunday. But by some accounts Germany actually won the championship well before, in the small Brazilian village of Santo André. The fishing community of about 900 residents was the site for Campo Bahia, the $40 million, 161,000-square-foot luxury beachside resort that the German Football Federation developed exclusively to house its team and its staff during the World Cup. Built with German private investment, the resort boasts 14 villas, a fitness center, a spa, a practice football field, a 7,500-square-foot outdoor swimming pool, and an auditorium for team meetings.
On its face, Campo Bahia seems to epitomize the excess that so enraged anti-World Cup protesters. But the real kicker is that the facility was built with sustainability in mind. The camp will be open to the public soon as an eco-friendly tourist resort offering diving, fishing, and kite surfing. Meanwhile, the project created jobs, boosting the local economy. For all the valid concern about building costly infrastructure for single events like the Olympics and the World Cup, Germany efficiently proved that the right amount of private money can provide a major win for the host nation.