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Neymar gets Brazil's World Cup party started after opening ceremony fails to ignite

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Eye on the ball: Brazil's Marcelo goes airborne in an attempt to keep control in their World Cup opener against Croatia in Sao Paulo

Eye on the ball: Brazil's Marcelo goes airborne in an attempt to keep control in their World Cup opener against Croatia in Sao Paulo

AP

Eye on the ball: Brazil's Marcelo goes airborne in an attempt to keep control in their World Cup opener against Croatia in Sao Paulo

Brazil's curious semi-detachment about the tournament lasted deep into the afternoon.

The hundreds of empty seats for the opening ceremony, which featured the extremes of walking trees and fuschias to singers Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, were a manifestation of the lack of love the nation has had for a competition you expected might have been adored in the land of football.

There was one more little piece of insurrection towards the Fifa suits when they sang a second verse of the Brazil national anthem, refusing the time limit the game's tainted governors have tried to impose.

When it all began there really was no carnival. Half the floodlights failed after about 20 minutes, flickering back on later in testament to the way that this unfinished expensive stadium has been thrown together in a shambolic hurry and the players were fumbling around in the dark, too.

There have been grand pronouncements about how they would win it – "Our moment has come," Luiz Felipe Scolari had said – but assessing the true merit of this team is difficult, even after their 3-1 win.

They had been in a fairly dark place until last year's Confederations Cup triumph sent expectation soaring. How good were they? Nobody really knew.

The Croatians looked like the football players. Ivica Olic did the dazzling. He had already hared down the left once – seizing on Oscar's sloppy early pass – before he whipped in the cross which, after Nikica Jelavic's miskick, went spinning off the foot of Marcelo, who could not stop himself poking it into his own net.

The view of Sao Paulo's response to Neymar's equaliser from the top of the stadium best revealed the complex relationship between Brazil and its World Cup.

There is a view across the city from there and the fireworks which crackled told of a place which for all the bravado will be living on its nerves in the next four weeks.

They hate the men in suits and the spending which the World Cup represents, but they will invest every last piece of emotion in the team's fortunes when it all comes down to it.

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Singers Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and Pitbull 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Singers Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and Pitbull 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, left, US singer Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, left, US singer Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

AP

From left, rapper Pitbull, Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte and US singer Jennifer Lopez perform before the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

From left, rapper Pitbull, Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte and US singer Jennifer Lopez perform before the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

AP

Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, left, US singer Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, left, US singer Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

AP

Rafael Camango, 26, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, wears paint on his face to represent his country's flag, while waiting to enter Itaquerao Stadium to watch the World Cup opening match, between Brazil and Croatia of group A, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Thursday is a holiday in Sao Paulo and everybody is celebrating the start of the international soccer tournament. Fans dressed in yellow and green greeted each other, often yelling, "Vai Brazil!" (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Rafael Camango, 26, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, wears paint on his face to represent his country's flag, while waiting to enter Itaquerao Stadium to watch the World Cup opening match, between Brazil and Croatia of group A, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. Thursday is a holiday in Sao Paulo and everybody is celebrating the start of the international soccer tournament. Fans dressed in yellow and green greeted each other, often yelling, "Vai Brazil!" (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

AP

Actors perform during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Actors perform during the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

AP

A Brazil fan waits for the start of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.  (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

A Brazil fan waits for the start of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

AP

A soccer fan waits for the start of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.  (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

A soccer fan waits for the start of the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

AP

A fan flashes a v-sign before the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

A fan flashes a v-sign before the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

AP

A Brazil fan cheers prior to the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.  (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

A Brazil fan cheers prior to the group A World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia, the opening game of the tournament, in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AP

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Singer Jennifer Lopez performs 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Singer Jennifer Lopez performs 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  (L-R) Perfomers Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and Pitbull 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Perfomers Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and Pitbull 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  (L-R) Performers Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Performers Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  (L-R) Performers Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Performers Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and Pitbull 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and Pitbull 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Signer Claudia Leitte performs 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Signer Claudia Leitte performs 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (L-R) Singers Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Claudia Leitte performs 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Claudia Leitte performs 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A general view of the arena 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A general view of the arena 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (Editors Note: Image was created using a fisheye lens) A general view of the arena 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: (Editors Note: Image was created using a fisheye lens) A general view of the arena 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Dancers 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Dancers 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  An artist performs 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: An artist performs 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Artists perform over the Happiness Flag 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)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Artists perform over the Happiness Flag 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, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A general view of the arena 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A general view of the arena 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A general view of the arena 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A general view of the arena 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 Kevin Cox/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A performer is carried in a boat 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A performer is carried in a boat 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan looks on 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan looks on 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan cheers 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan cheers 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A person in a Batman costume holds a sign during an anti-World Cup demonstration on June 12, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the first day of World Cup play.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A person in a Batman costume holds a sign during an anti-World Cup demonstration on June 12, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is the first day of World Cup play. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan holds a scarf before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan holds a scarf before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan holds up a sign before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan holds up a sign before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Mexico fans cheer wearing large peacock feathered headdresses before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Mexico fans cheer wearing large peacock feathered headdresses before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Mexico fan looks on while wearing a large peacock feathered headdress 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Mexico fan looks on while wearing a large peacock feathered headdress 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan cheers before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan cheers before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Brazil fans with painted faces smile before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Brazil fans with painted faces smile before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan looks on before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan looks on before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan takes a picture before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan takes a picture before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Croatia fans pose before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Croatia fans pose before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Brazil fans enjoy the atmosphere before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Brazil fans enjoy the atmosphere before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A fan smiles while wearing Brazil 2014 shaped glasses before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan smiles while wearing Brazil 2014 shaped glasses before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A fan smiles while wearing Brazil 2014 shaped glasses before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan smiles while wearing Brazil 2014 shaped glasses before 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan smiles while wearing glasses with Brazilian flag lenses 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan smiles while wearing glasses with Brazilian flag lenses 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 Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Brazil fans with painted faces smile before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Brazil fans with painted faces smile before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan waves the Brazilian flag before 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan waves the Brazilian flag before 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan uses a mobile phone before 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan uses a mobile phone before 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan poses before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan poses before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Brazil fans pose before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Brazil fans pose before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Brazilian fans kiss before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Brazilian fans kiss before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan waves the Brazilian flag before 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan waves the Brazilian flag before 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 Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan wearing a Fuleco mascot hat looks on before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan wearing a Fuleco mascot hat looks on before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A Brazil fan smiles before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan holds a child before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: A fan holds a child before 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 Warren Little/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Posto adidas - "The Dugout" YouTube Live TV Show and Press Conference with Guests Patrick Vieira and Fernando Hierro on June, 12, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for Adidas)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 12: Posto adidas - "The Dugout" YouTube Live TV Show and Press Conference with Guests Patrick Vieira and Fernando Hierro on June, 12, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for Adidas)

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Singers Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and Pitbull 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 Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Of course, it was not so much the manner of the goal that mattered but the man who delivered it. They love Neymar because he was the one who did not forsake them by leaving for Europe at the first available opportunity. Oscar did the hard yards to create the chance for him, riding two challenges to slip the ball in.

Neymar's finish was not a masterpiece – his shot was slightly scuffed before rolling towards the lefthand post of a slow-reacting Croatia goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa and in off the post – yet there could be no disguising the sense of a player announcing his arrival in the tournament.

If the 2014 World Cup is truly to be Neymar's stage, he stepped on to it in the most commanding fashion. The Brazilian player who carries by far the greatest responsibility did not shirk the challenge. He repeatedly threw down his own.

There may be qualms about much of the rest of Brazil's performance, but there could be none about Neymar.

He finally began to show he belongs with such company.

This could be the match that properly propels his tournament and career.

He certainly produced an electric moment, one of those that made the stadium, the hairs stand up, and then brought an explosion.

At that point, with Brazil 1-0 down to Marcelo's early own goal, it came across that Neymar understood the enormity of the situation for his side.

That is all the more admirable when he consider the personal stakes for the youngster. Neymar does find himself in a scarcely believable situation, and one that most players would struggle with, let alone 22-year-olds.

This, after all, is not quite the Brazil of Ronaldo-Rivaldo-Ronaldinho or even Romario-Bebeto.

He is effectively the sole star in a much more mundane outfit.

That could be seen in the stuttering nature of so many of their attacks – at least when Neymar and Oscar were not on the ball.

If Brazil are to bury the ghosts of 1950 and finally win the World Cup at home, he is the player charged with actually replicating previous greats and driving them to the Maracana and glory.

The weight of so many legacies – from Pele to Garrincha – is on that distinctively coiffured head, let alone 200 million people. It did not seem to affect him, except in the proactive sense. Neymar justified the striking and almost overbearing confidence he had displayed in the pre-match press conference, but without the previous breeziness.

Beyond the goals, there were also occasions of the more erratic individualism that has repeatedly raised such longer-term questions over Neymar.

The point, however, is he did not hide – in any sense.

That was certainly true of his second strike, as he again stepped up, this time to the spot.

It wasn't as precise as his first effort, and the decision to give the penalty in the first place for Fred's dive was wrong, but it produced the desired effect.

As did Neymar's entire performance.

The rest of the stage awaits.

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