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Rousseff revels in World Cup success

Dilma Rousseff expressed surprise that Brazil had faced so much criticism prior to the tournament.

BRASILIA, Brazil -- Brazil has proved the doubters wrong by putting on a highly successful World Cup, President Dilma Rousseff has said.

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Concerns that stadiums and airports would not be ready or that protests would disrupt the tournament dogged Brazil in run up to the event.

But with the tournament almost over, it is being hailed as a sporting success, with hundreds of thousands of fans applauding the warmth of Brazilians and the lively party atmosphere.

"We showed that our people know how to have good interaction not only among ourselves but with the foreigners that we received," Rousseff told journalists at the presidential residence on Friday.

"We competently maintained peace and order, as well as having good airport administration among other successes."

The building of stadiums and other infrastructure ran far behind schedule, and many planned public works tied to the event were scrapped or never completed.

Fears had been voiced that Brazil's crowded airports would be overwhelmed as fans moved between the 12 host cities.

However, transportation has been far better than forecast, which industry groups have said is partly because the number of air passengers during World Cup month was significantly lower than normal.

Opinion polls have said Brazilians remain evenly split on whether or not the World Cup would prove to bring real benefits for the country.

Anger over the $13.5 billion spent on the tournament helped fuel huge protests last year as people called for quick improvements to health services, education, transport and security.

But demonstrations this year did not regain the mass proportions witnessed a year ago, in large part because of a heavy police presence on the streets.

Rousseff said: "We've eliminated the doubts of all who didn't believe in us."

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