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Foreign journalists were delighted: "The best World Cup of all time." Jason Davis, with British ESPN, even put this idea forward: "Let's hold all the World Cups in Brazil."
After he had got off his plane, former American player Lalas, now a sports commentator, praised the airport and security.
Foreign tourists praised the multipurpose arenas and loved the Brazilian people.
The general secretary of FIFA, Jerome Jerôme, also weighed in: "What we are seeing off the fields in the different host cities is what everyone expected of Brazil. This is the place where football is a religion. We expected a unique party, and I think Brazil is on track to deliver all that was expected of it."
A surprise? Not at all for those who always believed in Brazil. Those who believed and believe, could even display a huge poster, on victory days: "I already knew it." President Dilma even announced it before the first ball was kicked off: "Brazil not only will have a Cup, but this will be the Cup of Cups." And it was.
Putting on the World Cup cost a small fraction of what the Brazil of Lula and Dilma has invested in education and health. Some R$ 8 billion was spent on the stadiums — and, with regard to the federal government, there was no budget expenditure for this purpose; rather, the BNDES financed the work in the amount of R$ 4 billion (the remaining R$ 4 billion was raised through private resources and funding by the states). Other investments in urban mobility, airports, ports, telecommunications, security, etc., would have been made regardless of the Cup — they were simply accelerated because of the event.
On the other hand, during these same four years of preparation for the World Cup, the federal government, states and municipalities spent R$ 1.7 trillion on education and health. The equivalent of 212 World Cups. Just the National Program for Access to Technical Education and Employment (Pronatec) received, in a little more than two years, R$ 14 billion in investments, almost double the total investment in the World Cup stadiums (R$ 8 billion) — and it should be remembered these stadiums were not built with federal funds.
We received over 1 million foreigners with open arms, who poured US$ 1.58 billion into Brazil in just two months (June and July) and took back in their luggage an overwhelming desire to return soon to the land of football, cheerful people, competence and world-class infrastructure.
And how many of the 3.6 billion people around the world who "attended" the Cup of Cups on TV will now be planning to visit Brazil on their next vacation? The balance sheet is not yet closed, but according to a survey by the Studies and Economic Research Foundation (Fipe), together with the Ministry of Tourism, the indications are that Brazil will see a profit of some R$ 30 billion as a result of its hosting of the 2014 World Cup.