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Friday, June 13, 2014

Grand FIFA opening ceremony and Neymar stars in lung opener

Away from Cricket and IPL, the glitz is now on the greatest show on the earth, the FIFA World Cup carnival,  which began with a coruscating opening ceremony  which encapsulated the colour, culture and nature of Brazil, hosting the big football party first time since 1950.  Now a days, the opening ceremony tries to outsmart the event itself and on the first day of every World Cup; the host city is a riot of colours of the team shirts that start the competition. With the hosts playing the first match,  the effect seemed million time more luminous. Men, women and child wore the Selecao shirt the five stars of Brazil’s five World Cup triumphs, a proud adornment.  The 2014 FIFA World Cup is the 20th FIFA World Cup, taking place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014.

The opening ceremony was grand… On a carpet that covered the pitch and with four massive drums in four corners, it celebrated Brazil’s nature, people and the one sport that is part of the cultural fabric of this country. There were men and women kicking balls tied on a string shifting it from one foot to another. US rapper Pitbull, Brazilian pop singer Claudia Leiite and US singer Jennifer Lopez performed  during the opening ceremony at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo  singing the World Cup anthem “We are one”.  “Show the world where you're from/ Show the world we are one” was a theme in sync with the festival that has 32 participating teams but a following that extends to all corners of the globe.

The anti-tournament protests continued even hours before the ceremony but the din was lost when thousands of football lovers from across the world thronged the Corinthians Arena and watched the spectacle unfold with invigorating enthusiasm. A giant LED ball, placed at the centre of the stadium, displayed the welcome message in different languages, and hundreds of artists started to trickle in. Reports state that more than 60,000 fans were in Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena, including 12 heads of state and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon There was no political speeches this year, not even from Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff.  The giant ball opened and took the form of a flower. Brazilian singer Claudinha surfaced from under it along with Pop icon Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pit Bull.

In the tournament lung opener, Neymar was the star of the show as Brazil came from behind to secure a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Croatia. The hosts’ star No10 equalised after Marcelo’s own-goal, and converted a second-half penalty after Fred had been fouled by Dejan Lovren. The opening goal of the 2014 World Cup was remarkable in itself, the first own-goal scored by a Brazilian in the history of the tournament. Ivica Olic received the ball on the Croatia left and ran unopposed into the Brazilian half. His low cross fizzed across goal and was turned in by Marcelo, who failed to readjust his feet in time.  The crowd were stunned, but they rallied behind their side, who were level before the half-hour mark.

Despite a valiant effort by Croatia, including their disallowed goal, Brazil wrapped up the three points when Oscar fired home from the edge of the box. In a trivia, only  one team will be making their FIFA World Cup™ bow at Brazil 2014. Bosnia and Herzegovina are those solitary debutants, and this is the second edition in succession in which all teams but one have prior World Cup experience. Slovakia were South Africa 2010's sole first-timers while, by contrast, Germany 2006 produced no fewer than eight, including Brazil 2014 hopefuls Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.

So on day 1, it was Brazil's poster boy Neymar scoring twice and the outstanding Oscar added a late third in that thrilling game whence Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura harshly ruled that Croatia skipper Dejan Lovren had fouled Fred who appeared to throw himself to the ground.

Much more is expected to happen in the fortnight to come …

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th June 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

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    ReplyDelete