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Bazil had waited for the World Cup for years. They spent billions building stadiums but finally the World Cup was here and they let the big Brazilian party started. Brazil made a winning start to their campaign after a colourful opening ceremony at the Arena de Sao Paulo.

Protestors Rally In Rio On First Day Of 2014 World Cup

Thousands of Brazilian fans flocked to Fan Fests in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to watch the hosts’ opening match against Croatia.

The hosts beat Croatia 3-1, thanks two goals from Neymar and a third from Oscar.

Brazilian soccer fans react while watching the opening soccer match between Brazil and Croatia in a fan zone during the 2014 World Cup in Recife

Brazilian soccer fans react while watching the opening soccer match between Brazil and Croatia in a fan zone during the 2014 World Cup in Recife




But the Croatian fans were saddened and disappointed after their national team’s loss.

Croatia’s fans were furious with the Japanese referee  Yuichi Nishimura. “It’s a pity, the referee ruined us!” said a bitter Goran Vlahic, 28, as he was leaving the square with his girlfriend.

“I’ll never eat sushi again,” said Goran, who attended the game as he ate dinner afterward.

Croatian fans react to being behind late in the opening soccer match of the 2014 World Cup in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York

Thousands of fans watched the match on cafes all across Croatia. Supporters gathered at the Zagreb’s main square.

Nearly all were dressed in Croatia’s distinctive red and white squared shirts as they watched the match on a 52-square-meter screen above an improvised stage.

Opening Ceremony Of The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

The Croatian papers labelled the clash the “biggest match in Croatia’s history” and the whole country has been gripped by World Cup fever.

In Zagreb’s main square up to two million people are expected to pass through a giant “Fan Zone” to watch the games over the next month.

Brazil v Croatia: Group A - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Fans and humour is a part and parcel of the ‘beautiful’ game.

Opening Ceremony Of The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Photographs: Christopher Lee, Buda Mendes

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