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With all of the issues and questions leading up to the World Cup, Sao Paulo's Itaquerao Stadium shined under blue skies as Brazil kicked off its home World Cup with a football-style carnival.
Jennifer Lopez, rapper Pitbull and Brazilian pop star Claudia Leitte bounced around a giant stage resembling a peeled melon singing We Are One on Brazil's Valentine's Day.
Brazil is ready to samba, and plans to teach the world to join in for the coming month during soccer's showcase tournament.
The soccer-crazed country hoped today's Croatia-Brazil opener would just be the start of a run to extend its record to six World Cup wins.
The field was covered in for the opening ceremony, which cost NZ$9.2 million, or about $18m Brazilian reais.
The centre of the show was a giant LED ball made up of more than 90,000 light clusters - one of few large-scale technical wonders in the event as organisers were ordered to avoid placing a strain on the pitch where Brazil and Croatia face off 75 minutes after the ceremony.
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