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World Cup 2014 opening ceremony: Time, TV schedule and how to watch online


Update: The best moments and GIFs from the World Cup opening ceremony

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Preview'

The World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet. It's a chance for everyone on Earth to see some of the best athletes there are on a massive stage. It is the pinnacle of sport.

And it starts with Pitbull!

That's right. Before Neymar, before Lionel Messi, before Cristiano Ronaldo, there's Pitbull.

You can't have a major sporting event without some sort of spectacle beforehand -- it's in the Ten Commandments, look it up -- and for the World Cup, that means an opening ceremony. That means giant displays that represent some kind of Brazilian heritage you need explained to you, lots of bright lights, some cool videos, fireworks and a concert. That's right, a concert, and that means Pitbull.

FIFA thought a Brazilian World Cup was the perfect time to tap Cuban-American Pitbull to do the official song of the tournament. That doesn't really make sense -- and Brazilians are upset that they didn't pick, you know, a Brazilian -- but this is a World Cup and he is Mr. Worldwide. It's a perfect marriage.

So Pitbull made "We Are One," featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte, and all three will be at the Maracana for the ceremony to perform the song. That's actually news, because Lopez pulled out of the show, then changed her mind and decided she would perform after all.

Four years ago, the World Cup concert featured Shakira, High Masakela and Juanes. It was kind of a big deal, but it didn't have Mr. Worldwide. This one does.

Or, you know, wait for the actual soccer to start.

Date/Time: Thursday, June 12; 2 p.m. ET

Venue: Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

TV: CBC (Canada), ITV 1 (England)

Streaming: ESPN3 (U.S.)