2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™

12 June - 13 July

2014 FIFA World Cup™

Celebration time in Brazil

For many followers of the beautiful game, 30 October will always be remembered as the birthday of one of the greatest players ever to take the field: Diego Armando Maradona. Yet the biggest festivities on El Pelusa's special day in 2007 took place not in Argentina but in the land of their fiercest rivals, Brazil.

And with good reason, as the five-time FIFA World Cup winners were confirmed as hosts of the 2014 edition of planet football's greatest competition. On hearing the news, joyous fans took to the streets en masse, and in no time at all the thoroughfares of Brazil were awash with every shade of yellow and green.

'The 2014 Cup is ours'
Over in Rio de Janeiro, where the organisers are putting the final preparations in place for the imminent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, the city's main tourist areas were suddenly invaded by delighted Brazilian torcedores (supporters).

"A Copa de 2014 é nossa!" (The 2014 Cup is ours!) read the banners that sprung up around the statue of Christ the Redeemer, the iconic monument that overlooks the coastal city. There, hundreds of fans had gathered at the request of the local mayor's office, which intends to stage the final of the competition in the legendary Maracana Stadium.

Within sight of the statue is that very footballing temple, where two huge Brazilian shirts were unveiled which bore the words: 'The new Maracana is ours and the 2014 World Cup is too'. In a recurring theme, even Sugarloaf Mountain was dyed green and yellow.

In the city of Sao Paulo, the Municipal Theatre was the place to be, the Brazilians celebrating the announcement with fireworks, thousands of balloons and plenty of singing - which eventually led into an all-night party at Ibirapuera Park. Similar scenes were witnessed in the capital Brasilia, where fireworks sent showers of sparks into the sky throughout the day.

Not that this wave of euphoria was confined to Brazil. Over in Portugal, the national team's Brazil-born coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led his homeland to victory at Korea/Japan 2002, expressed his satisfaction with "Brazil's bravery in putting itself forward to host this World Cup. Now it can get on with putting in a lot of hard work to ensure the tournament goes down in history in every sense."

Reading from the same hymn sheet was Carlos Alberto Parreira, coach of the USA 1994-winning side, the Germany 2006 Seleção and now at the helm of South Africa, hosts of the 2010 showpiece: "The time has come to start work on organising an impeccable event. It's the first step towards winning the World Cup on home soil; we can't lose it there again."

From the net to the world
As soon as the news was confirmed, Brazil's leading media organisations were on hand to broadcast the celebrations and images from Zurich on their respective websites. Newspaper O Globo, on their digital edition, headlined with 'Confirmed: Brazil 2014!' The popular daily also prepared a special report with a host of photos and profiles of the cities vying to host matches at the finals, as well as offering its users the chance to vote for their personal favourites.

Sao Paulo-based publication Folha followed a similar line, highlighting the start of the "internal struggle" for the right to be a host city. Also included was a quote from France legend Michel Platini, likening the decision to award Brazil the FIFA World Cup to "an authentic pilgrimage to [footballing] Mecca".

The Jornal de Brasil, meanwhile, published one of the photos that would be viewed across the globe on Tuesday: hundreds of Brazilians celebrating next to Christ the Redeemer. The headline? "Welcoming the 2014 World Cup with open arms."

Finally, no Brazilian newspapers could resist including a tongue-in-cheek quote from President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who joked that "our World Cup will be so fantastic that not even Argentinians will be able to complain". Proof if it were needed that, on this 30 October at least, not even Diego Maradona could rain on Brazil's parade.

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