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World Cup opening ceremony to begin shortly; here are 5 reasons why you must watch it

india Updated: Jun 12, 2014 22:53 IST
Durga M Sengupta
2014 Fifa World Cup

Pop superstar Jennifer Lopez, hundreds of dancers, drummers and gymnasts, and a paraplegic who will kick a football in a robotic suit will deliver a pre-match extravaganza to open the World Cup at 11.45pm on Thursday.

More than 60,000 fans will be in Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena, including 12 heads of state and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and around one billion people are expected to watch the opening ceremony and match on TV.

The spotlight will then shift to the field with Brazil taking on Croatia in the opening match.

While a poor opening ceremony could dampen your spirits, we are sure Brazil is going to get it right. Here's why:

1. A paraplegic 'Iron Man'
Yes. You read it right. A paraplegic whose identity has been kept a secret will step out of his (or her) wheelchair and into the most awesome suit ever. And that's not it, this superhero(ine) will also take the tournament's first kick using brain signals.

The Iron Man-like suit a paraplegic will wear to kick first ball of the World Cup, created by Brazilian scientist Miguel Nicolelis and his team in Sao Paulo, Brazil (AFP Photo/Ho)

Not sure how it works? Here's a video that will help you (it helped us).

2. J Lo. Pitbull. Leitte.

While you're still reeling from the scientific awesomeness mentioned above, here's some news that will make you happy. Jennifer Lopez is performing this season (No, she really is: putting speculations to rest). The icon will perform the official World Cup song Ole Ola alongside Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte.

J Lo Pitbull and Claudia Leitte perform We Are One (Ole Ola) at Open Billboard Music Awards (Credit: Getty Images)

And here's a small preview to the live version on the opening ceremony stage.

3. Oh, you're not done yet? Okay, the Fifa artistic director bears some glad tidings:

Daphne Cornez described the event via "The opening ceremony is a tribute to Brazil and its treasures: nature, people, football. The sense of excitement here is amazing and everyone is very motivated. It doesn't matter whether they're feeling tired or hot sometimes or if they have to go through routines again and again: they just keep on smiling. It's amazing."

Yes. There's going to be some dancing.

Brazilian hostess and model Fernanda Lima accompanied by Brazilian former soccer player Ronaldo holding a replica of the trophy of FIFA World Cup during the inaugural ceremony of the 64th FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo (EPA Photo)

4. Twinkle twinkle... ooh little lights.

Remember the aerostat at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi? Brazil has its own light show.

The much anticipated opening ceremony also features a 'living' LED ball made of 90,000 light clusters. Yes, that's a lot of light. Yes, it could be trippy.

5. Um Brazil vs Croatia?

If all this isn't enough excitement for you, there's the match itself. Come on folks, no ceremony sans the game, is there?

Indian football players pose for a picture during a training session in Bhopal (EPA Photo)

Catch the opening ceremony being held in Sao Paolo at 11:30pm IST live playing on a TV near you.

And for latest World Cup updates there's always our trusty page and Twitter handle @HTSportsNews
(With inputs from AP)