Brazil's upside-down Cup: Bad soccer, well planned

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Dancers perform during the opening ceremony prior to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Pool/Getty Images) (Pool/RTR, 2014 Getty Images)
Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final (Pool/RTR, 2014 Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/14 7:54 am

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — For Brazil, it was the upside-down World Cup.

Brazilians lost at soccer which they were certain they would win. And they won where so many expected failure — organization.

For years, the country's government has endured criticism over delayed stadiums and protests over heavy spending on a sports tournament despite poor public services. Foreign tabloids warned visitors of man-eating snakes.

Many serious doubts remain about how much Brazil will benefit from the Cup.

But there is no question that the goal of giving the world a smoothly run, exuberant sporting spectacle surpassed all expectations.

President Dilma Rousseff took clear delight in the Cup's success, and in handing her critics a plate of humble pie, saying Brazil has "eliminated the doubts of all who didn't believe in us."


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