In the last 18 days more than 21,000 people have signed up to become volunteers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, 3,273 of them foreigners. The second registration window for the World Cup Volunteers Programme, which opened on 9 September, has attracted applications from 129 countries, an indication of the desire among people from across the world to be part of the greatest football show on Earth.

There is still time to apply if you have not yet done so, with the Brazil 2014 Local Organising Committee (LOC) having just extended the registration deadline to midnight on 2 October. 

Want to apply? Then fill out the form here. 

Some 21,093 have already put their names down. Topping the list of Brazilian states with the most applications up to Thursday morning was Rio de Janeiro with 3,416, followed closely by Sao Paulo with 3,206, with Minas Gerais third on 1,629. Leading the way among the states that are not hosting the 2014 World Cup is Goias with 287 applications. 

Outside Brazil, Colombia heads the ranking with 475 applicants, while Russia, which will host the next World Cup in 2018, lies second on the list with 251, followed by Spain (225), Mexico (214), USA (208) and Argentina (180).

The second Volunteer Programme registration window has also seen applications from countries as far afield as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Hungary and Sweden. Among the 11 candidates from the Scandinavian country is a 73-year-old man who aims to cap a long career of volunteering by taking part in the World Cup in Brazil. 

The elderly Swede in question is Hans Hammastrom, who said: “I’ve worked four times as a volunteer and they were some of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I’m fit and healthy and I feel I have a lot more to offer after a long life. I’ve never worked as a volunteer in Brazil and I see the World Cup as a unique opportunity. I’ve been in Brazil before and if I get the call, I’ll work on my Portuguese.” 

Hans added that his family and friends are giving him all their support in his bid to be a volunteer at next year’s world finals.

“They were very happy and excited when I told them,” continued Hans, who gave Sao Paulo as his first-choice destination. “It’s a great chance for me to go and learn a new language, even at my age. To be a volunteer you need to be willing to learn new things and be open-minded. It would be wonderful to round off my years of volunteering at the World Cup in Brazil.” 

Nearly 15,000 people will be selected to carry out volunteer work at the 2014 World Cup. 

Hans is just one of 1,023 candidates who have applied to work in Administration, just one of the more than 20 areas offered by the Volunteer Programme, the most popular of them being Competitions with 4,407 applications, Ceremonies with 2,376 and Stadium Operations with 2,031. 

Nearly 15,000 volunteers will be called upon to staff the 2014 World Cup, with the first registration window in 2012 having attracted 127,629 applications.

There is no guarantee that candidates  will be allocated to the areas they have applied to work in, while the selection process involves several phases, some of them face-to-face (for residents in the Host Cities) and some online. Applicants must pass every phase in order to become volunteers. 

After applying for the Volunteer Programme, candidates are required to attend group dynamics sessions and take part in general online training, individual interviews and specific on-the-job training. 

It should also be added that all communication between the LOC and volunteers during the selection process will be conducted by email. It is essential, therefore, that applicants keep their registration details up to date.