RIO DE JANEIRO - The mournful cries of millions of Brazilians were drowned out in the high-decibel musical gala during the FIFA World Cup's closing ceremony, which was graced by crowd pullers such as Shakira, guitar king Carlos Santana and also had a dash of samba here today.
FIFA lined up six events that followed a series of lavish opening acts before the grand finale between Argentina and Germany at the iconic Maracana. The events attempted to combine the cultural distinction of host nation Brazil with a nod to every country involved in the sporting extravaganza. Colombian star Shakira, Mexican guitarist Santana, Brazilian Grammy award singer Ivete Sangalo and a samba school led the musical entertainment. Around 1,000 people were involved to celebrate the greatest values of the planet's most popular sport as the tournament closed in on its climax. The 18-minute show inside the stadium was designed to pay tribute to the beautiful game and its 'key symbols'. Kicking off with an expression of the sport's values through four characters - Freedom, Solidarity, Passion and Diversity - the ceremony subsequently included representations of all 32 teams to have participated at this World Cup, with particular focus on the two finalists: Joachim Low's Germany and Alejandro Sabella's Argentina.
Set to a soundtrack of samba music, incorporating a cast of 400 people and featuring GRES Academicos do Grande Rio, a special reference to the World Cup trophy took centrestage, while a unique tribute to the game symbolically brought together the two sides battling to be crowned winners of football world. Shakira captivated the audience with her trademark 'la la la' song.
The ceremony concluded with a spectacular combination of music: Shakira and Carlinhos Brown performing 'Dare'; Alexandre Pires, Santana and Wyclef Jean providing a rendition of the World Cup official anthem - 'We Will Find A Way'. Last but not the least, a medley of Brazilian songs was performed by Pires and Sangalo.