Sports

World Cup Kicks Off With Football-Style Carnival

The Happiness Flag is seen as artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil prior to the Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Happiness Flag is seen as artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil prior to the Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO (AP) – With all of the issues and questions leading up to the World Cup, Itaquerao Stadium shined under blue skies as Brazil kicked off its home World Cup with a football-style carnival.

Jennifer Lopez, rapper Pitbull and Brazilian pop star Claudia Leitte bounced around a giant stage resembling a peeled melon singing “We Are One” on Brazil’s Valentine’s Day.

Brazil is ready to samba, and plans to teach the world to join in for the coming month during soccer’s showcase tournament.

The soccer-crazed country hoped Thursday’s Croatia-Brazil opener would just be the start of a run to extend its record to six World Cup wins.

The field was covered in for the opening ceremony, which cost $8 million, or about $18 million Brazilian reais.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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