Thursday’s Brazil 2014 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Management Board meeting at the Estadio Maracana, the first such gathering of 2014, was followed by the presentation of two of the three singers who will perform We Are One, the tournament’s official song, with Latin American rapper Pitbull being joined by Brazilian star Claudia Leitte. The third member of the trio, Jennifer Lopez, will arrive in Brazil this evening.

Also taking part in the press conference at the stadium were FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke; Brazil 2014 LOC Chairman Jose Maria Marin; Luis Fernandes, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport; Brazil 2014 LOC Management Board member Bebeto; Cafu, a FIFA World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002; and Sony Music Brazil CEO Alexandre Schiavo.

Valcke and the members of the LOC gave their views on the visits they have just made to Sao Paulo, Cuiaba, Curitiba and Natal, where the Arena das Dunas, the seventh 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ stadium to be completed, was opened on Wednesday. 

FIFA.com brings you the pick of the quotes from Thursday’s press conference.

On the announcement of the performers of We Are One: 

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke
“Football and music are unique in that they have the power to bring thousands of people to stadiums. They have always formed a successful partnership. Everyone remembers what happened in South Africa with Waka Waka and Shakira, which was a huge success. I think We Are One, with Claudia Leitte, Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, is a song that captures the essence of the World Cup, the essence of the World Cup in Brazil. I hope that millions of people will soon be dancing to the sound of this music, and I wish the singers every success.” e want to make sure that World Cup fans can once again enjoy the best possible experience.” 

Sony Music Brazil CEO Alexandre Schiavo
“It’s a pleasure to be able to celebrate ten years of being partners with FIFA. It’s a pleasure also to work on the music for the World Cup. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with such talented artists for the World Cup in Brazil. There is so much variety and richness to the music here in Brazil. Music and football form an exciting combination and we want to make sure that World Cup fans can once again enjoy the best possible experience.” 

Pitbull, one of the performers of the official FIFA World Cup™ song
“I would like to thank Claudia for bringing all the flavour of Brazilian culture, and it’s very special to have Jennifer Lopez involved too. That’s why we called the song We Are One. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to come together for the song.” 

Claudia Leitte, one of the performers of the official FIFA World Cup song
“This is a very special moment for us Brazilians. We know how to celebrate and we have a unique appreciation of music. It’s an honour to be joining Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, two stars of the music world. They could easily pass for Brazilians too, and they’re going to be dancing the samba a lot during the World Cup.”

Brazil 2014 LOC Management Board member Bebeto
“This song (We are One) says everything about football. I would like to congratulate Pitbull, Claudia Leitte and Jennifer Lopez for the fantastic job they’ve done. I’m sure this song will play a massive part in making the FIFA World Cup one big party.” 

Cafu, FIFA World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002
“The song We Are One beats to the same rhythm as the Brazilian people and it reflects a little bit of their history. It’s catchy and people are going to sing it a lot. And it’s going to reach the stadiums and the pitch too. It was a great idea to go for Pitbull, Claudia Leitte and Jennifer Lopez. Brazil are going to play their football at the World Cup to the rhythm of this song.”

Luis Fernandes, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport
“What we are seeing here is the union of football, music and culture, which all bring people together. It’s going to be a very happy occasion, and this initiative is going to help people and cultures to join as one at the World Cup. I would also like to point to the strong Latin flavour of the song and the video and to the presence of Claudia Leitte in particular. She’s a fine example of just how much talent there is on the Brazilian music scene.”  

On the visits to Sao Paulo, Cuiaba, Curitiba and the opening of the Arena das Dunas:

FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke
“In terms of the visits to the stadiums, what we saw in Sao Paulo was much to be expected following the accident at the end of 2013. We are all working to get everything ready for the opening. In Cuiaba we have a problem with the pitch, which is not yet ready to host a World Cup match, though we’re working very hard to put that right. In Curitiba we saw a stadium with a lot of problems and what we have to do now is to put everything we have into resolving them and ensuring that the Arena da Baixada can stage World Cup matches. Finally, in Natal we opened a fantastic stadium yesterday.” 

Brazil 2014 LOC Chairman Jose Maria Marin
“The World Cup is 140 days away and when I went to Cuiaba and Natal I was very pleased with what I saw. Despite the problems, the stadiums are nearly ready and there are just a few details to attend to in Cuiaba, like the pitch. In Natal, meanwhile, we’ve already had some games. I’m very happy and we’re going to do our job so that Brazil can stage a great World Cup and show that it has organisational skills and abilities.”

Cafu, FIFA World Cup winner with Brazil in 1994 and 2002
“I was very impressed by the stadiums we’ve visited. I didn’t have any idea as to how difficult it is to stage a World Cup from an organisational viewpoint. Obviously we are concerned about the Arena da Baixada, but we are working hard and we really hope to have Curitiba with us in the World Cup. As for the pitches I’ve seen, you really feel like playing on them. They are just amazing. I’m sure we’ll stage one of the best World Cups of all time.” 

Brazil 2014 LOC Management Board member Bebeto
“When we went to the Arena de Sao Paulo I got excited just thinking about the fans arriving for Brazil’s first game. The stadium is all but ready. Then we moved on to Cuiaba, where we have concerns about the pitch. It’s an issue we’ve had to raise before. It wasn’t in good condition, but we’re going to make it better. We need to work hard. Then in Curitiba we saw an even bigger problem, though they’re going to turn that game around. I’m looking at it positively and I think Parana can turn the game around. I was amazed with what I saw in Natal. It’s a really beautiful stadium. The pitch is perfect too and it’s ready to stage a great show.”

Luis Fernandes, Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Sport
“This meeting between the LOC and FIFA marks the start of the final and decisive phase of the FIFA World Cup, a phase that began yesterday with the delivery of the Arena das Dunas, the first of the six stadiums that were not used at the FIFA Confederations Cup. We now need to take care of every aspect of the operational plans, which cover everything that has to be done in the Host Cities, all this in a country the size of Brazil. In every Host City there are areas that are the responsibility of the federal government and others that are down to the city councils or the state authorities. We have to make sure that they all do their jobs so that we can put on a great World Cup.”