The private jets are stacking up on Rio de Janeiro’s runways as bold-face names from Shakira to Russian President Vladimir Putin drop by for today’s World Cup final between Argentina and Germany.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff will host Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with other heads of states, at a luncheon today at Guanabara Palace before heading to Maracana Stadium to watch the 4 p.m. match.
FIFA, soccer’s governing body, expects a worldwide viewing audience of more than 1 billion.
Among the 75,000 at the stadium, the smattering of celebrities includes Shakira, who will perform at the World Cup’s closing ceremony. She’s expected to be joined in the stands by supermodel Gisele Bundchen, fellow chanteuse Rihanna and U.K. chef Jamie Oliver.
South African President Jacob Zuma and German President Joachim Gauck will represent the political end of spectrum. Among business types, Carlos Brito, the Rio-born chief executive officer of beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Plc, the world’s biggest advertising agency, are expected to attend.
Brazil’s Civil Aviation Secretary said more than 900 executive jets are expected to pass through the city’s three main airports between July 11 and tomorrow. That includes more than 300 private planes landing at Rio’s Galeao, Santos Dumont and Jacarepagua airports today, the agency said in an e-mailed statement.
Brazil is marshaling about 26,000 security forces, including police and army officials and eight military helicopters, to protect both the heads of state at their reception, as well as matchgoers.
Inside Maracana, where supporters broke through security twice in the arena’s first two World Cup matches, about 1,500 private security officials will be working.
As many as 70,000 Argentinians, most of them ticket-less, were expected in Rio this weekend for the country’s attempt to win the World Cup for the first time in 28 years.