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Legends grace opening ceremony

Pele carried the golden trophy in the Munich stadium before German President Horst Koehler declared the 18th World Cup open.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 16:49 IST

A parade of more than 140 former World Cup winners was the centrepiece of the colourful opening ceremony of the World Cup in Munich on Friday.

Brazilian legend Pele and German supermodel Claudia Schiffer carried the golden World Cup trophy into the high-tech Munich stadium before German President Horst Koehler declared the 18th World Cup open.

The oldest World Cup winner in the parade was Alcides Ghiggia, 80, who scored the winning goal for Uruguay against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in 1950.

Bobby Charlton and his brother Jack were among the representatives of England's victorious 1966 squad, while all of West Germany's winning 1974 team were present.

Spectators were also treated to a colourful display of dancing and music, while male dancers wore the traditional lederhosen leather trousers of the Bavaria region of which Munich is the capital.

Host nation Germany were taking on Costa Rica in the opening match immediately after the ceremony.

The 64-match, 32-nation World Cup culminates in the final at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on July 9.

First Published: Jun 09, 2006 00:00 IST