Blatter 'extremely pleased' as World Cup countdown clock is unveiled

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he is "extremely pleased"with Brazil after the one-year countdown clock for next year's World Cup was unveiled on Rio's famed Copacabana beach.

The device, made by Hublot, the official timekeeper for the 2014 mega-event, displayed the time remaining until Brazil gets to stage its first World Cup since 1950, when the Seleção lost the final to Uruguay.

Brazil legend Pele, Sports Minister Also Rebelo, FIFA secretary Jerome Valcke, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and Hublot President Jean-Claude Biver were in attendance at the ceremony on Wednesday.

Blatter, who was unable to attend the unveiling of the clock, said: "I'm extremely pleased, as the one-year mark is always an important date.

"The country is not only a footballing powerhouse, but an economic one too. I’m sure that one of the legacies of this FIFA World Cup will be that of helping Brazil become a leader in terms of social and cultural values.

"The FIFA World Cup being held in such a multi-cultural society is bound to bring people together. There are no differences in football; social classes don't exist.

"I've seen photos of the stadiums and I really must congratulate the architects entrusted with the design of the same. They represent the jewel in the crown of the respective cities. I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity to go to Brazil 2013 and visit all these cities."

Jose Maria Marin, chairman of the Local Organsing Committee, hailed the unveiling as "another memorable milestone" in preparation for next year.

He added: "This is another memorable milestone in our preparations for Brazil 2014. It´s a reminder that the big event is just round the corner.

"In 12 months' time we’ll be staging a football festival involving teams from 32 countries and fans from the four corners of the globe, right here in Brazil."

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