Before the start of a mega sporting event – and there are very few tournaments bigger than the FIFA World Cup – there is always a bit of entertainment, glitz and glamour just to spice things up that wee bit before the on-field battle begins.
Where to Watch Live:
Get the Brazil vs Croatia report HERE
Get the Brazil vs Croatia Opening Match Live Streaming Information HERE
Get the report HERE
The FIFA World Cup 2014 Opening Ceremony is scheduled for a 3.15 pm local time (11.45 pm IST, 4.15 pm ET, 7.15 pm BST) start with live coverage on Sony Six in India (coverage begins at 8 pm). The Opening Ceremony can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Coverage in the United States will be on ESPN 3 with the option to live stream HERE. Viewers in the UK can catch the Opening Ceremony on ITV, while the action can be live streamed HERE. Viewers in Australia live stream the ceremony HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same HERE.
The FIFA World Cup 2014 Opening Ceremony at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo is expected to be just one of those with dancers, gymnasts and stilt walkers adding to the glamour that will be brought by the likes of Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte – the trio will perform the popular World Cup song "We Are One."
The ceremony is not expected to be dragged out, to avoid that feeling of "c'mon just finish it off, we want to watch the action", with the entertainment expected to last only around 25 minutes.
Those 25 minutes have been meticulously planned, though, with rehearsal after rehearsal performed to ensure there are no glitches in the programme, like there were 20 years ago in Chicago.
"The Opening Ceremony is a tribute to Brazil and its treasures -- nature, people and football," the show's Belgian artistic director Daphne Cornez told FIFA's official website. "The sense of excitement here is amazing and everyone is very motivated.
"It doesn't matter whether they're feeling tired or hot sometimes or if they have to go through routines again and again -- they just keep on smiling. It's amazing."
The worry from a sporting point of view, always, when there is an opening ceremony right before the big game – and this is huge with Brazil, the hosts, taking on Croatia – is that the pitch will get damaged, and with it hampering the ensuing game.
However, FIFA have promised there will be no damage to the surface, with the ceremony to concentrate on factors which will not cause any problems to the playing field.
"The ceremony is taking place during the day, which means we won't be using a lot of lighting or fireworks," executive director of operational planning and support, Joana Havelange, said. "There will be no pointed, sharp objects on the pitch or anything that's very heavy.
"As a result, the show will focus heavily on the dancers, the sets, the dance routines, fantasy sequences and the soundtrack, which is really lovely and took two and a half months to write."
While the Opening Ceremony for the World Cup 2014 is expected to be short and sweet, what awaits football fans around the world following that is a festival of action on the field.
Hosts Brazil have been tagged as the favourites, while Spain, the defending champions, are also expected to be in amongst the teams competing for the title. The aura around Spain has dimmed a little, though, and the likes of Argentina, with Lionel Messi and a scary attacking lineup in tow, Germany and the Netherlands will look to take advantage.
However, a host country always has a good chance to make that run at the title – not since France did it in 1998 has a host country won the title, so Brazil will look to end that 16-year barren run with the 2014 title.