Brazil put on a colourful display as the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup got under way at Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena on Thursday ahead of the opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia.
The festivities kicked off at 6:15pm GMT ahead of the opening match of the four-week long tournament between hosts Brazil and Croatia.
Elsewhere in the city and in Rio de Janeiro, military police clashed with anti-World Cup protesters demonstrating against the huge cost of staging an international tournament in a country where poverty remains rife.
A crowd of more than 60,000 people, including 12 foreign heads of state, watched the tournament's opening match.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
© All images courtesy AFP
Preparations at Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena were completed just in time for the kick-off of opening ceremonies on Thursday.
Dancers dressed as trees evoked Brazil's iconic Amazon rainforest.
Acrobats wore costumes designed to resemble footballs.
The sphere at the centre of the arena opened to become a concert stage.
Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte and US stars Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez performed from inside the sphere.
After the opening fanfare, football fans prepared to watch Croatia face off against hosts Brazil.
Date created : 2014-06-12