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World Cup Seen Damaging Brazil’s Tropical-Paradise Image

The World Cup was meant to be a celebration of a new Brazil -- powerful, prosperous and jubilant. When the ball starts rolling in three days the world may instead view images of violence and inefficiency.

Seven years after gaining rights to host sport’s most-watched event, Brazil nears the tournament amid street protests, economic slowdown and a wave of strikes including subway and museum workers. Visitors will also encounter a nation with a stalled economy, consumer confidence at a five-year low and rising domestic opposition to the event amid a heated presidential election.