Before the final World Cup match Sunday between Germany and Argentina, television viewers and a star-studded crowd (including Rihanna, LeBron James, David Beckham, and soccer legend Pele) were pouring into Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium. Those already seated or just coming in were treated to an 18-minute pre-game show. Musical artists representing Latin America opened and closed the lively and colorful festivities as only Brazilcould.
Carlos Santana, along with Haiti’s Wyclef Jean and Brazil’s Alexandre Pires, performed the official FIFA World Cup anthem “Dar um Jeito” (“We Will Find a Way”). Alongside Santana and company, students from a local samba school were the featured back-up dancers. Many other colorful Brazilian costumes could be seen throughout.
Colombia’s Shakira opened the World Cup finals show with her latest single “La La La (Brazil 2014)”, followed by another performance with the Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown singing “Dare”. This is her third consecutive FIFA World Cup performance.
In 2010, she performed at the opening ceremonies in South Africa. Her single “Waka Waka” still dominates as the most popular Official World Cup song. It continues to surpass the recent one by Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, and Brazil’s Claudia Leitte.
It was Santana’s first time performing at the World Cup. He is certainly no stranger to pre-game shows at major sporting events. In 2003, he was a featured act at the Super Bowl pre-game show performing with then up-and-coming artist, Beyonce.