Pop sensations Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull were the star attractions as the 2014 World Cup was launched on Thursday with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
The world-famous stars were joined by Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte in the centre of a giant 90,000-pixel LED ball to make a magnificent entrance following a display involving over a thousand people to captivate the stadium crowd.
The ceremony began two hours before the kick-off of Brazil's Group A fixture against Croatia, starting with a welcome message in the languages of all 32 countries partaking in the finals.
Thereafter there was an homage to nature before taking in the rhythms and dance so often associated with Brazil.
Next came a section dedicated to football as 500 performers and 800 Paulista talents joined to pay tribute to the beautiful game's passion and history around the country.
But the biggest roar of all came when the pop trio appeared one after the other from inside the LED ball, leaving the fans of both Brazil and Croatia chomping at the bit for the real action to start.