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World Cup starts today with Brazil-Croatia opener

World Cup starts today with Brazil-Croatia opener

India Blooms News Service | | 12 Jun 2014, 08:59 pm
Sao Paulo, June 12 (IBNS): One of the biggest shows on earth- the FIFA World Cup- is all set to start in Brazil from Thursday with millions of people across the globe already hit by the bug of excitement rooting for their favourite stars to perform and hence bring home the trophy after a month-long clash on the fields.

The first match of the tournament will see hosts Brazil taking on Croatia as over  3 billion spectators are expected to watch the sporting extravaganza.

FIFA had earlier said  it has sold more than 2.9 million tickets so far.

Ahead of the start of the match, spectators will witness a grand opening ceremony which will feature some of the biggest names from the entertainment industry like popstar Jennifer Lopez , rapper  Pitbull and singer Claudia Leitte.

The 25-minute pre-match extravaganza, which is expected to dazzle spectators will also feature  hundreds of dancers, drummers and gymnasts, reports said.

More than 60,000 people are expected to witness the event at the stadium and keep the moments captured in their memories forever as they would be a part of a grand spectacle which the world experiences only once in four years.

Ahead of the opening match, Croatia Captain Darijo Srna has said his team will 'give it all' in the match against Brazil.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has already set to the tune of the tournament by declaring: "This is our World Cup."

Speaking at a press conference earlier, he said: "To all Brazilians I want to tell you the time has arrived. This is our World Cup."

Pressure will be on Brazil's star player Neymar as the country will expect him to perform brilliantly int he tournament and thus ensure the trophy as the country hosts the event for the second time.

As the country soaks in World Cup colour, some anti-World Cup protesters here and other parts of the country have called for demonstrations during the month-long tournament.

Adding troubles to people, airport workers in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro city have announced a 24-hour strike starting at midnight on Wednesday over higher wages.

According to reports, Brazilian police and protesters clashed in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

The police later brought the situation under control.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has said her country is ready to host the football World Cup from Thursday.

She made the remarks when the country witnessed protests against bad governance in the country and over the roughly $11 billion expenditure  by Brazil host the tournament.

Rejecting criticism of overspending, she said investments in stadiums, airport terminals and other infrastructure developments will benefit the people of the country.

In a TV address earlier, the President said the World Cup spending somehow diminished investments in health and education was nothing but "false dilemma".

Despite protests, football fever has already gripped the nation with people from all walks of life celebrating the grand tournament which is being hosted by the country for the second time in the history of the popular sports event.

Away from Brazil, the Indian metro city of Kolkata, which has a strong bondage with the game, is equally fanatic about the sports while the people have already divided themselves as per their favourite nations to cheer aloud during the tournament.

While the hosts Brazil and another football giant Argentina which draw huge support in the city, other sides like the current champions Spain, England, Germany, Netherlands or Portugal also find some supporters in this football-crazy city.

From flags of different nations already flying high in different paras (localities) in the city, special sweets, jerseys and even special World Cup related foods, offered by several eateries, have already created a slice of Brazil in Kolkata itself.

On Thursday, large number of supporters will be seen spending sleepless night to support for their favourite star Neymar as Brazil will play their first game in the tournament.


Image: Wikimedia Commons