The greatest show on earth, or a month-long borefest if you hate football, begins today in Brazil, in Sao Paulo, the city of the opening match between hosts Brazil and Croatia.
Emotions are at fever pitch, either through sporting passion, or feelings of injustice at all the money spent on sport instead of schools or hospitals, but once the whistle blows for kickoff expect all reservations to be put aside as the country goes football crazy.
For some after all the waiting it cannot come too soon.
“I booked it before England qualified in Poland, so that was a bit nerve-racking because obviously, if we didn’t qualify, then you know, it wouldn’t be a wasted journey but wouldn’t have been as good,” said one England fan.
“Being here with my mates is by far the best thing to be doing in the moment. Best way to make use of my summer time,” said his friend, playing beach football in the Brazilian heat.
In Brazil’s most African city Salvador de Bahia enthusiasm is also running high and streets and shops are decorated to make the most of what is hoped will be a tourist bonanza.
The tournament will be played out from the coast to the heart of the Amazon, and be watched around the world by billions…and even beyond our planet, as being a scientist on the ISS does not mean you do not like football.