For the next one month, 32 nations would fight tooth and nail for a place in the finals of the football’s greatest event in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

With the World Cup returning to its spiritual home, nothing less than an extravagant show could be expected from the Samba nation.

Spectacular Opening ceremony on cards!

Musicians plying their trade, Samba dancers hopping on musical beats, gymnasts showing off their heart-thumping moves and the fans from all over the world having a complete ball are some of the scenes that would be ubiquitous in Brazil for next one month. It is definitely going to be a treat for all the football-crazy fans.

The opening ceremony at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo is likely to be a majestic show with some of the biggest stars performing live.

American rapper Pitbull, famous singer and actress Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian pop singer Claudia Leitte would leave no stones unturned in exhilarating the atmosphere at the ceremony with their live performances.

The official World Cup song – ‘We Are One (Ole Ola)’ by Pitbull also features Lopez and Leitte.

The opening ceremony would also feature performances by American singer Beyonce Knowles and the Beatles’ fame Sir Paul McCartney.

The stage would be lit up by more than 600 dancers performing to the tunes of Samba.

All in all it is expected to be a dazzling experience for all the fans already licking their lips on the prospect of such a magnificent ceremony as well as the month-long tournament.

Around 65,000 people are expected to witness the splendid ceremony with their trip to the football stadium easing out after the agitating Metro workers vowed not to resume their strike that had threatened to become a potential party pooper.

Before the opening match between Brazil and Croatia, a ceremony would take place in Sao Paulo where rich tributes would be paid to the people, nature and most importantly football.

However, the most stunning part of this World Cup is going to be the moment when a paraplegic person would suit up in a brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton suit, a resemblance of the famous on screen character Iron Man, and make the traditional first kick of the games.

South American powerhouses Brazil, Argentina favorite to win WC

The hosts Brazil are favourites to win the World Cup alongside their South American compatriots Argentina. Germany and Spain are the two European teams touted to challenge these two South American footballing giants for the ultimate prize in football.

A confident Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari had earlier on Wednesday said that the Samba nation is ready to win their sixth World Cup title.

“Let me tell you the time has arrived. We are going together. This is our World Cup,” said Scolari.

The host nation will face the biggest threat from Lionel Messi-led Argentina – a team that is overflowing with attacking talent.

Whether it is Barcelona’s four times Ballon d’Or winner Messi or Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero or Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria or Napoli’s star striker Gonzalo Higuain, this remarkable quartet is expected to give horror nights to even the best of defenders in the world.

The European challenge for the trophy comes mainly from defending champions Spain, who would be eyeing to win their fourth straight major trophy along with Germany - one of the most consistent teams at international tournaments.

While four times World champions Italy cannot be ignored, especially with the experience of Andrew Pirlo in its ranks, one of the world’s most talented team Belgium is also considered as one of the dark horses this time around in the World Cup.

Uneasy ride for World Cup organizers

It has not been a smooth ride by any means for Brazil, who has battled a host of challenges before the World Cup, but the land of Samba is confident of putting up a spectacular show.

Several clouds had been looming over Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup ahead of the D-Day with delay in construction of stadiums and constant demonstrations in several cities here opposing the disproportionate expenditure on the tournament in the middle of an economic and employment crisis in the nation looking to take off some shine from this fabulous showpiece.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has already made it clear that the government would not allow the repeat of any kind of violence that was witnessed of late, which has also marred the carnival atmosphere at the World Cup to some extent.

Thousands of additional Brazilian Police personnel and army men would be deployed to ensure a trouble-free tournament.

With thousands of football fans from all over the world arriving in Brazil to root for their respective sides, the government and the tournament organizers would be keen to put up an extraordinary show and nothing less should be expected from the Samba nation.

So, it is time for all the football fans around the globe to stock up on chips, fill up their fridges with their favorite beverages and plan serious couch-potato sessions along with their cronies or family to see their darling teams aim at glory in this World Cup.

(Harshdeep Singh/JPN)

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