There will certainly be no shortage of big names at the Preliminary Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. In addition to the vast number of famous faces among the representatives of the 166 participating nations, there will be dozens of special guests and a team of draw assistants featuring some of the best-known stars from the past and present of Brazilian football, such as Mario Zagallo, Ronaldo, Zico and Neymar.
Befitting one of the first major steps towards the next edition of the FIFA World Cup, 30 July’s event is about more than just football. With the eyes of the whole planet on Rio de Janeiro, everyone will be able to take excitement in the qualifying phase taking shape and enjoy another one of Brazil’s cultural riches: music.
Kicking off the array of top talent is the hugely popular singer, Ivete Sangalo, who is arguably Brazil’s most popular musical export of recent years. Fresh from the acclaimed release of her DVD entitled Multishow Live – Ivete Sangalo in Madison Square Garden, the star’s countless hit songs are certain to liven up proceedings at Rio’s Marina da Gloria.
"I'm thrilled with anticipation," said Ivete, who has sold over five million CDs and DVDs around the world. "I can feel the fans' hearts beating all over the world. It is an honour to be connected to a sport of such magnitude."
Another of the confirmed artists is Ivan Lins, one of the most internationally successful musicians and song-writers in the history of Brazilian popular music. Having enjoyed a career spanning over 30 years, in 2005 Lins became the first Brazilian to win Album of the Year at the Latin Grammy Awards, thanks to his record Cantando Histórias.
The line-up still features pianist and composer Daniel Jobim, the grandson and authentic musical heir of the great maestro Tom Jobim, and Ana Carolina, one of the top Brazilian singers to break through in the past decade.
Also on the bill are the Orquestra Sinfônica Heliópolis (Heliopolis Symphonic Orchestra), a fine example of how music and social integration can go hand-in-hand. Started in 1996 by the Instituto Baccarelli, the year of a tragic fire in the community of Vila Heliopolis in Sao Paulo, this laudable initiative provides grants for students from low-income families to enable them to focus on their music.
Overseeing the festivities will be two well-known faces to Brazilian audiences: Tadeu Schmidt, one of the presenters of the Globo Rede TV show Fantástico, and the actress and model Fernanda Lima.
The Preliminary Draw is set to decide the layout of the Brazil 2014 qualifying groups for five zones: Africa; North, Central America and the Caribbean; Asia; Europe; and Oceania. The South American Zone qualifiers take place using a round-robin format and therefore do not require a draw.