Let the Games Begin! World Cup Kicks Off in Brazil

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Thursday in Brazil, bringing together die-hard soccer fans around the world as well as protesters.

A Brazil soccer fan cheers inside the FIFA Fan Fest area before the start of the World Cup soccer game between Brazil and Croatia on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on June 12, 2014.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP

Performers take part in the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at the Arena Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP

Soccer fans watch the opening ceremony prior to the FIFA World Cup 2014 group A preliminary round match between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo. Brazil vs Crotia is the first game of the World Cup, which will take place throughout Brazil until July 13.

Marcos Mendez / EFE

Brazilian soccer fans react after Brazil's first goal in the Brazil vs. Crotia World Cup game, at Legends Bar in New York City.

Andrew Burton / Getty Images North America

Singer Jennifer Lopez, left, rapper Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia in the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo.

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

Russia's squad takes part in a training session at the Estadio Novelli Jr. stadium in Itu ahead of the start of the World Cup.

Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP

Brazil's Thiago Silva, left, celebrates after teammate Neymar scored during the World Cup soccer match between Brazil and Croatia.

Ivan Sekretarev / AP

Brazil fans hold a giant shirt-shaped banner during the World Cup match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paolo.

Elsa / Getty Images South America

Boys pass houses decorated in the colors of the Dutch soccer team in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Netherlands plays its first World Cup Group B match against Spain on June 13.

Peter Dejong / AP

Masked anti-World Cup protesters rip apart a Brazilian national team soccer jersey during a demonstration in downtown Rio de Janeiro. Demonstrators clashed with police Thursday in Sao Paulo, just a few hours before the first game of the World Cup.

Leo Correa / AP

Demonstrators are seen during a protest against the World Cup in Sao Paulo.

Marcos Mendez / EFE

A Volkswagen Beetle, painted in Brazil's national colors, is parked at the Praca 14 de Janeiro neighborhood in Manaus, one of the host cities of World Cup. The Beetle is known locally as a "fusca."

Raphael Alves / AFP