Celebrated Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho has said football is changing the world and a day will come when humankind will be united thanks to the cohesive spirit of the game.
"Football is changing the world... Probably it will take another four or five World Cups, but the day will come that we see the whole humankind united," the Brazilian wrote in an email to FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter.
"I believe that, for 30 days (of World Cup 2006), the world became a better place. Not because the conflicts stopped, but because people understand that there is a good fight...
"(It was) another way to express our natural (and repressed) instincts of competition, manhood, strategies, logistics, lust for victory, mutual cooperation and dependence, space to be an individual and at the same time understanding the importance of not being alone - all of this without necessarily being aggressive.
"It was my first World Cup, and it made a huge impression on me. When we see football the way that we saw in Germany, all the empty spaces are fulfilled, and hope is back," said Coelho.
Coelho, whose works include The Pilgrimmage, Manual of a Warrior of Light, The Alchemist and The Zahir, attended the opening match between Germany and Ecuador as well as several of Brazil's games.