To use the cliche, the entry is actually a 'sight to behold' and vindicates the advertisement that 'Brazil's talent goes beyond football', which dots the wall in the Guarluhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, as well as the one in Rio de Janeiro. (Agencies)
It is only after one gets a glimpse of the historic Maracana Stadium, on way to the city that the thought of football and World Cup comes gushing back all over again.
Thanks to the extravaganza, gates to some of the posh night clubs are open almost through the night and people -- foreigners and locals -- can be seen and heard talking football and about the ones who are expected to leave a mark on the game's biggest stage at its mecca.
Again, courtesy of the tournament, officers sitting at the immigration desks ensure a smooth exit for the tourists and the ones manning the security are all ready to help with a broad smile, and of course without frisking.
The Brazilian flags, the brazuca replica balls can be seen here and there and from book stores to the cover page of in-house magazine of a domestic airline, images of Neymar, Oscar, David Luiz and Paulinho are easily available.
They haven't forgotten Ronaldo and Pele comes on TV on and off.
"People from everywhere, from all over the world, their fans and supporters are coming here for the tournament," was what security officials in Rio and Sao Paulo said.
Fan parks are being put up in some parts of the city, including in places which are not far from the city centre.
Far from the hullabaloo stands stall the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue atop the Corcovado mountain.
An excited group of Argentines gearing up for their country's next match is understandable and so is a Japanese fan’s plan to spend the next couple of weeks here watching his team’s progress.
There was also a Boeing aircraft of the Argentina Football Association (AFA) parked on the tarmac, proving beyond doubt which team has the maximum following after the hosts.
But how does one explain the 14,000 km journey of a 29-year-old Bangladeshi, who has made it all the way from Dhaka.
"World Cup football does that to people," he answered, adding "I know it's very difficult but I will also try and look for some opportunities here once the tournament is over."
Yuichi, in his mid 30s, though would not be too optimistic after the Samurai were held to a goalless draw, following a fighting defeat to Ivory Coast.
"The plan and the primary objective is to watch the team play and then let's see. I may stay here for a month or two, maybe see a bit of South America," he said.
How can the Indians be left far behind! There was a minor cause for concern when a Kolkatan, travelling to Sao Paulo via Doha along with a group of friends, complained of breathing problem on board. But he made it and all is well that ends well.
The party, though, never ceases to end in Rio.
To use the cliche, the entry is actually a 'sight to behold' and vindicates the advertisement that 'Brazil's talent goes beyond football', which dots the wall in the Guarluhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, as well as the one in Rio de Janeiro.