After a dismal performance in opening ceremony last year by Brazil, all eyes are on the Russian version of the same. A perfect ceremony is a perfect blend of music, dance, culture, tradition and that picturesque look which makes the event unique and memorable. Here is our pick of Top Five opening ceremonies of World Cup history.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) June 14, 2018
1998 FIFA World Cup – France
One of the most memorable Opening Ceremonies of modern times was that of 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. The theme of this opening ceremony of a historical World Cup was ‘Gigantic’, which looked pretty evident in their approach.
Video Courtesy: ECA2Paris
Vibrant French culture of peace and harmony was the inspiration for four larger-than-life sized Football players which represented each continent. They were accompanied by the finest Parisian street performers who kept the audiences spellbound in their seats. It was truly a beautiful, colourful and gigantic ceremony and the French team lifting the World Cup later on, made it extra special.
2006 FIFA World Cup – Germany
This was a very theatrical ceremony, rich in cultural heritage portrayed in all the scenes. It began with German drummers in their traditional German attire who later urged the audience for a synchronised clapping to match their music.
A red carpet was rolled out across the stadium. A young girl walking and a boy riding a bicycle enter the red carpet making it look like a fairytale. The girl hands the boy a trumpet and he plays it, he is then joined by choral singers, the orchestra and dancers.
Shakira performed the 2006 FIFA World Cup theme song and the crowd was left mesmerized. Italians lifted the World Cup in one of the most fiercely fought for World Cup in history.
2002 FIFA World Cup – Japan
The Asian flavour of the FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony in 2002 had some strong Korean and Japanese influences.
Acrobatic performers were spectacular, starting with a Japanese troupe of dancers wearing hats, doing the cool moves who created an illusion like they were wearing two dresses though it was one, Simply amazing and memorable.
1994 FIFA World Cup – United States of America
The opening ceremony was hosted by Oprah Winfrey. Diana Ross also gave a musical performance. Diana Ross was supposed to end the performance by kicking the ball into the net, yet she kicked it too wide.
The ceremony represented all the countries that were participating in the tournament. Every time a country’s name was called out, dancers would come out all dressed in the attire of that country and dancing the traditional dance of that particular country, playing the music too.
The only disappointment about this world cup was the state of the stadium.
2010 FIFA World Cup – South Africa
South Africa set a really high standard for Brazil, one that was too hard to beat amidst news of corruption charges. After an aerial display by the South African air force, a group of drummers and dancers performed a Welcome to Africa song that included an introduction to all 10 of the tournament’s venues.
The next sequence saw a gigantic beetle show off its football skills with the Jabulani – the official ball of the tournament, before large pieces of cloth were used to show a map of the continent and then the world.
Musicians and artists from the other African countries – Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria – also had their chance to perform. Multiple Grammy Award-winning R&B star R Kelly then sang the ceremony’s showpiece song, Sign Of A Victory, with South Africa’s Soweto Spiritual Singers.