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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fans and humour is a part and parcel of the ‘beautiful’ game.
Photographs: Christopher Lee, Buda Mendes