After inviting the world to its party and spending billions, the atmosphere in Sao Paolo, the city hosting the World Cup opening match, is flat.
With mounting anger over government overspending and demonstrations raging on and off, more than 150,000 police and soldiers have been deployed in the cities hosting the matches.
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has been defending the cost of staging the most expensive World Cup.
“There are people who claim the resources for the World Cup should have been directed to healthcare and education. I hear and respect those opinions, but I don’t agree with them. It is a false dilemma,” said Rousseff.
The president is seeking a second term in October and hopes Brazilian success on the pitch will finally win the country over.
Meanwhile, the most festive visitors have resorted to making their own fun carrying their national flags and singing together as bemused locals look on.
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