What's trending:

From slums to space, world tunes in to World Cup

The Associated Press
From slums to space, world tunes in to World Cup
.

View gallery

From the stadium in Sao Paulo to sofas in Germany, from a pub in Nairobi to a cafe in Miami, from a Rio slum to outer space, nearly half the world's population was expected to tune in to the World Cup, soccer's premier event which kicked off Thursday in Brazil.

Even football-loving Pope Francis got a touch of World Cup fever. He sent a video message on Brazilian television before the match, saying the world's most popular sport can promote peace and solidarity.

The inaugural game had everything aficionados love - passion, drama, spectacle, goals and a refereeing controversy. Here are just a few of the billions of spectators who got caught up in it all.

---

Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (0)
  • Qatar appoints new coach in bid to revive 2018 World Cup hopes

    Qatar has appointed a new coach to head its national soccer team in a bid to revive fading hopes of qualifying for its first World Cup finals in Russia in 2018. 63-year-old Uruguayan Jorge Fossati will head the national team, according to a tweet … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago
  • Arsenal's Wenger happy to shed his Chelsea hoodoo

    Arsenal's Wenger happy to shed his Chelsea hoodoo

    By William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) - For five years, Chelsea were the nemesis of Arsenal and their coach Arsene Wenger so Saturday's resounding 3-0 victory in the London derby represented a psychological boost for the Frenchman. The last time … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago
  • Barcelona cruise past Sporting without Messi

    Barcelona cruise past Sporting without Messi

    Luis Suarez broke the deadlock in the 29th minute and Neymar scored two late goals as Barcelona beat 10-man Sporting Gijon 5-0 with Lionel Messi sidelined through injury on Saturday. ​ Barcelona, held 1-1 by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday when Messi … More »

    Reuters - 41 minutes ago
  • 10 out of 10 for Pep but the perfectionist demands more

    10 out of 10 for Pep but the perfectionist demands more

    (Reuters) - The perfectionist in Pep Guardiola forbids him to get remotely carried away by Manchester City's 100 percent record this season even though they made it 10 wins out of 10 under their new Spanish manager on Saturday. Indeed, Raheem … More »

    Reuters - 43 minutes ago
  • Zamalek to meet Sundowns in African Champions League final

    Zamalek to meet Sundowns in African Champions League final

    By Mark Gleeson PRETORIA (Reuters) - Five time champions Zamalek of Egypt will meet South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns in next month's African Champions League final after fending off a spirited Wydad Casablanca in a semi-final second leg on … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 14 minutes ago