Brazil Rushes to Prepare for World Cup

Round one opens in Sao Paulo with Brazil vs. Croatia.
13:10 | 06/12/14

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Transcript for Brazil Rushes to Prepare for World Cup
-- long wait. Is over the drama begins today you are looking at the water -- beautiful Rio de Janeiro Brazil. One of the host cities of this 2014 World Cup the weather report looks clear but there's a different storm on the way. Set to kick off in exactly five hours hello I'm Michelle Franzen in New York this is your ABC news digital World Cup pre show. Just one match today fit won the opener host Brazil looks to get off to a good start. They'll play crew Croatia and Sao Paulo that kicks off on ESPN and -- -- and watch ESPN at 4 o'clock eastern. We are joined now from Rio by ABC's own Paula -- skateboarding -- how they're going down there. Good morning myself from AM lovely and we. It's not still gladly if you are planning on flying into Rio today that's because airport workers -- -- strike at midnight last night that's supposed to last until. Midnight tonight -- this should not affect flights but it will -- checking and and retrieving their baggage that good news in Sao Paulo which is just out one hour flight here for -- however is that that transit strike that was going to affect so many. Is over. At least for now as for the adjustment the national team also trading in south holiday were supposed to play -- noncompetitive game against Belgium today however that was canceled. Due to traffic concerns basically the coaches there. Just didn't want their players to get stuck in traffic for hours upon end so what's next for the US men's national team. Well they face Ghana on Monday night and this is a team that they have never beat. And World Cup play. They have a different team we have the defense team and its importance to focus on the game on Monday. It's its first match of the World Cup. -- the start -- well we'll all excited. The work of four years is now come to this point so we've. Watched them in and paid attention to know what they're good at what they like to do but at the -- day it's all about seven on the field. We're just hours from -- in the opening ceremony will of course see Jennifer Lopez and people perform and that opening game Brazil vs Croatia it's. Brazil's first cold World Cup game since 1950. That's -- from -- where ready let's just hope the stadiums are Michelle. -- -- Setting the scene there from lovely Rio thank you. So while those stadiums might still need a few tweaks -- official World Cup soccer balls are ready to roll for the story of their long journey. To the World Cup ABC's Mohammed -- -- went to Pakistan. When you think we'll help you probably think there's so this could be even kids and if you really doing stuff that maybe this -- What I told you the most important city for the World Cup closet you know we'll leave it up here and London are over here in Milan. Politically told you it was -- over here. In a police you've probably never heard -- place holds. Pakistan. You'd never thinking but in this tiny little town soccer is a huge deal. It started when British soldiers stationed here in the 1850. Maybe they're -- -- fixed and took him to a local shoe maker who eventually learned how to make them on his own. The rest is history. Today factories here produce up to sixty million soccer balls a year the industry -- so big -- seven. Every ten soccer balls in the world. We were given a rare look inside the ID gets factory that produces bolts for some of the world's top leagues it's -- -- Including the Bundesliga UEFA champions league even adolescent North American companies do not -- for -- you won't have been designed golf all -- these -- covered. Some of the designs are so new -- top secret we weren't even allowed to film them. But we were allowed to film this it's called the presume get the official World Cup soccer ball. So what makes the present -- so unique. Well take a look at this is a regular soccer ball usually made of route 32 packs -- -- shaped handles all of -- stitched together. The presumed has opened six panels they kind of look like splashes of painting and there was no stitches are -- to -- -- together they're designed supposedly. Makes it one of the most aerodynamic -- in history. Here's how it's made and police pay attention. The panels are cots painted Bates stamped heated stand to gain repeated again 250 degrees glued to -- parts pretty cool put together taped blow dried insulated podium today's globe shaped thingy pitched -- quite polished and -- The process is so precise there's hardly any variation from one ball to the next. And this is why that's pretty cool. So all -- Lionel Messi will be kicking. In the World Cup is the same as somebody -- -- and play at home -- -- -- the same old same technology Zaman -- everything's the same. Speaking at the -- plus days. This all right we'll slow -- down for yet this -- that you see usable kicked it around 45 miles an hour. It's about the same speed as a -- like six. This is how the -- are tested to. 5000. Times that you should make sure they can handle the world's best strikers. Road and if you're wondering about the climate the polls are tested for that to take a look this is -- water tester. And as you can see. Football is soaking wet. The bulls aerodynamics mean the rain drips right off shortly everything -- of sort. Had to test for heat the -- -- baked for seven days and a 130 degrees. The public this game has -- -- it -- put up the road together. And that is what this -- -- Of course here in Pakistan and the -- represented something else it's a chance to change the country's image look around this is a huge success story. And Pakistan many women can't work but here they're 40% of the workforce and soccer has made this city so stable hasn't seen a single terrorist attack in years. Proof that the beautiful game really is doing something beautiful in the police received gifts. Right now that we see how the ball is made there's only one thing left you -- what it is let's see how it performs. On the -- ABC use them CL -- Pakistan and took me eight shots. But I got -- thanks mom. Michael -- -- joins us now from our sister network fusion he's the author of the recently released the soccer diaries and Americans thirty year pursuit of the international game. So Michael -- to today's match in a minute but let's begin with a bit of controversy around the US camp. Here's coach Juergen Klinsmann. For us now talking about a lot of winning -- World Cup you know it's just. It's just not realistic. Please follow this game for years in Europe in the states. Why -- moment here so surprised to hear that kind of blunt assessment. Well Michelle -- -- shouldn't these to tell you the truth I'm in Klinsmann. Is is sort of telling it like it is the US has made -- great strides in the last. Thirty years especially last twenty years since we posted the World Cup in 1994. Were real soccer nation now but to win a World Cup is something completely different. From its you have to really take it up and -- Several levels. And we're just not there yet again we've made great improvements we have really good players playing in the great leagues around the world. MLS has gotten much much better but we're not at that point where we could. Honestly say we're gonna win this thing. Sober in and realistic view they might now win the World Cup but they certainly have a chance at making a mark. If the US is to get out of their group what players or player do they need to make a mark. -- they need dumb Clint Dempsey he's almost dynamic player. He's exciting he's he scores goals he's he. He could set up goals. Prom and soccer of course you need goals and and the key guys Jozy Altidore he had he plays in England the Premier League which is. Considered by many the best -- in the world he had had. And all season. But -- the silver lining is that he scored two goals and the US's last. Exhibition match their last friendly match against Nigeria. A few days ago so. You know that's bodes well for his confidence and for his form and if you -- going. The US does have a chance we have Michael Bradley in midfield. And he sort of studies. The whole ship and it we have a top flight goalkeeper Tim Howard so that the that the quality is there. But it's you know we are in the group of death and there are really good teams out there from Portugal Germany and gone are going to be really tough opponents. -- teams and with that said conventional wisdom is that most World Cup teams need to win. That first -- draw at the very least true on Monday for the US. Yeah now that it that is true Michelle I mean. A draw and really a win if if the US is gonna progress out of the grew -- definitely a win. If the US wants did out of a group which of course -- do so Monday it -- be a great -- as -- US hostages go for. And that's something you know it's going to be fantastic thing because it's and it really is a must win because you can't expect to be Germany. Com if it's possible US beat Germany in a friendly last year so it's possible. But she did they have to when that first. Monday. You know we talk a lot about the long road of the World Cup in your new book the soccer diaries you go back through thirty years of American soccer how far. Has the nation really com. I mean. Back in the eighties Michelle it was I cold at the dark ages the North American Soccer League which had had. Has gained so much momentum through the seventies and early eighties folded in 1985 the US didn't make the World Cup. An 82 and 86. Even in 1990 when the US qualified. There wasn't this kind of -- excitement now everywhere you look. It seems like -- World Cup coverage on the cover of magazines. On the Internet. On TV. It's it's just. For a variety of reasons. If there's the sport has really grown here are a lot has to do with -- alas a lot has to do with. The US qualifying for the last. What is -- six World Cup's. Since 1990s. Like how important is it for the World Cup every four years to infuse. This excitement for the next generation player. It's very important. It's how a lot of kids that's how I got into it as a fan not a player of course but as a fan. But many players will we'll tell you that they they were they first became obsessed with the sport during a World Cup. And I think a lot of the excitement that we see now in this country does go back to 199411567. -- -- roles. We're just so just fell in love with it on the way I did you know a decade before the World Cup is incredibly. Important and valuable. Now quick. Looking ahead to today's game we have named Mars Brazil and though them uneven croatians -- a preview. The you said it Michelle and may Mars is one of the very best players in the world he has matinee idol looks he's on magazine covers. Around the world. And Brazil. Louise has a great team let's face it along with Germany -- a few others Brazil was always one of the favorites they're the favorite for this world cup of course they're hosting it. Because for the first time since 1950. The whole team is fantastic. Croatia is quite -- tricky opponent they have -- church from rail Madrid. And many really top quality players. I think Brazil could have some jitters first game jitters especially with the political and social protests in the back in the background. I I could see this game being -- -- But. It's the first game and that's what we've waited four years for so all soccer fans are just just can't wait sold until 4 o'clock today. Host country Brazil -- in the town today fusion is Michael let -- be no author of the soccer diaries and Americans thirty year pursuit of the international game. Thanks for joining us today. Thanks for -- appreciated. This has been your ABC news fifa World Cup 2014 digital pre show you can keep up with the games in real time. By downloading the ABC news -- starring the story for exclusive updates on the go for now Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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