The quadrennial carnival of the Beautiful Game got under way to a rocking start at the spectacular Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo yesterday. Brazil’s largest city was a cornucopia of festivities and protests yesterday as the 2014 World Cup football tournament brought together thousands of fans from across the planet to converge in the South American nation, which has long held sway over the sport. The football World Cup, equally a festival of culture as that of the game, is eagerly awaited in all parts of the world. The Middle East, where the game is played with overriding enthusiasm, is going to see the tournament being played in Qatar in 2022 for which preparations have begun.
The opening ceremony of the tournament had American singer Jennifer Lopez scorch the stadium with the World Cup song “We Are One.”
The World Cup, often branded the ‘greatest show on earth,’ brings together synergies of the teams and the cultures they represent from all parts of the world. It is a show which combines skills of the players — reaching a new high every time — with the organising and administrative prowess of the country hosting it. The nation hosting the World Cup brings upon itself a responsibility to bear the legacy of the game in the times to come along with putting up a show which is worth years of efforts that go into it. And Brazil yesterday did exactly that.
The South American nation, at the opening ceremony, combined colour and pageantry with responsible entertainment. It brought together the feat of science used for the development of human ability vital for the game. When a standing paraplegic man kicked the first ball of the World Cup in the stadium, it was a moment the world of science could be proud of. The development is part of a research project meant to give people who don’t have feeling in their legs the ability to walk again. Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis has developed a robotic exoskeleton to assist the disabled patients’ movement. The opening ceremony displayed the varied culture of the nation that has made its presence felt in the international sphere due to its fast growing economic might. Topping it with a football World Cup is sure to add to the country’s international standing.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has weathered many a storm in the run up to the tournament, which saw scores of agitations and last-hour walkouts by workers. The grand opening ceremony worked to soothe frayed nerves among organizers and Brazilian authorities.
The first game between Brazil and Croatia brought an initial surprise — Brazil trail by a self-goal in the initial stages. However, the hosts came back sharply to win 3-1. The Brazilian team emerged victorious and it is hoped the nation will emerge at the top by holding a smooth World Cup.