International fans are pouring into Brazil for football's World Cup which kicks off on Thursday, but for Brazilians protests and concern over the cost of hosting the tournament are overshadowing the event.
The month-long tournament sees 32 nations compete for a place in the final in Rio on 13 July. Thursday's opening match between Brazil and Croatia will be preceded by a ceremony in Sao Paulo that pays tribute to nature, people and football.
But at times in recent days it seems that visiting supporters - especially those from other parts of Latin America - are more enthusiastic about the 2014 World Cup than fans from the host nation, the BBC reports.
Twice in the past two days President Dilma Rousseff has publicly urged the nation to get behind the tournament, to be played across 12 cities, and which Brazil are overwhelming favourites to win.
In New Zealand, the TAB said thousands of bets have already been placed, with most on Brazil to win - some more than $10,000.
As work continues at the Sao Paulo stadium, there are still concerns the World Cup could be disrupted by protesters angry at the amount of public money being spent on the tournament.
There will be more than 170,000 security personnel working on protecting the tournament, including police and the army.
The government is also sending in 1850 members of the special forces and 36 helicopters as part of its counter terrorism unit. National intelligence officials are reportedly also in contact with several international intelligence agencies.
Airport strikes in Rio
Airport workers in Rio de Janeiro, where many matches are to be held, have started a partial strike, calling for a wage increase and a World Cup bonus.
The industrial action will take place in the city's two airports both international and domestic. A fifth of the employees will stop working, including check-in attendants, baggage handlers and cleaners.
A union leader told the BBC that they do not want to disrupt the World Cup, but demand an extra salary to compensate for the heavy workload during the event.
Meanwhile, metro workers in Sao Paulo have voted not to re-start a strike on Thursday.
Tough reception for Argentina
Argentina had an early taste of what to expect from their Brazilian hosts when they were welcomed with jeers and whistles in their first open practice session.
Five thousand fans attended the session in Belo Horizonte's Independencia Stadium with the locals giving their fierce rivals a noisy reception.
The decibel levels reached those of a competitive match when Argentina came out onto the pitch but the players, including Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, kept their cool and briefly waved to their own fans in the crowd before turning their focus to their training.
Argentina kick off their tournament against Bosnia on Monday.