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Kicking off with the World Cup

Today, at the Arena de Sao Paulo, the world’s most successful football team will kick off against Croatia to launch its first World Cup on home soil for more than 60 years.

The Brazil of 2014 could not be more different from the Brazil of 1950. Now the seventh largest economy in the world, this burgeoning global power is ready to show off under the unique spotlight only the biggest sporting competition on the planet can provide.

And The Conversation will be following every bicycle kick, every missed penalty, every wonder goal and every red card to bring you the most insightful commentary from the widest range of minds.

Our coverage won’t just be the men in suits you’re used to, poring over the minutiae of the linesman’s decision in the 17th minute of extra time. From the streets of Rio, to the university halls of the US, to the late-night bars of Sydney, and the tense living rooms of London, our diverse range of experts will be informing you about the on-field action, but it won’t end there. We’ll take you into the heads of the players, into the boardrooms at FIFA, into the stands where fans celebrate and mourn, into the jungle at Manaus and the training rooms in Brasilia.

In our brand new, dedicated World Cup sections, our international team of bloggers will explore the psychology, business, statistics and physiology of the world game. Our analysts will explore the history, economy and culture of Brazil as a global power. Each day we’ll update a rolling gallery of the best and brightest images from the tournament, from the group stages through to the final.

We have also launched World Cup 2014: Football and Beyond, a beautiful Flipboard magazine perfect for reading our World Cup coverage on any device while sipping some tea.

Megan Clement, deputy editor, Conversation UK