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COLOMBIA’S ‘HAT TRICK’

Shakira performs on stage at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas.
Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File
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FIFA kicked everyone else to the curb by naming Colombian pop star Shakira, the headline closing performer at the July 13 ceremony, which will mark the end of Brazil’s World Cup soccer competition.

The official, sports, governing body released a statement spotlighting the 37-year-old Colombian superstar who will be making her third consecutive World Cup appearance.

The singer will sing her “La La La Brazil (Brazil 2014)” a song that became the unofficial, anthem of the South American contests.

“I have an intricate relationship with football for obvious reasons, and I truly understand what the World Cup means to so many people, myself included.” Shakira said in a statement.

A fitting choice, Shakira is well-respected throughout the continent and around the world for her philanthropic endeavors. Acclaimed for building three schools in mostly disadvantaged communities in her homeland, Shakira also built schools in South Africa and Haiti. She is popular on social media and was named most “liked” personality on the worldwide network. Mostly though, it is her hip-shaking dance movements and unique bi-lingual song styling that introduced her to a global audience.

She is also known as the companion of 27-year-old Gerard Pique, who plays defense for Spain. Although Spain suffered early defeat and was eliminated when Chile beat the last champions with a 2-0 score Pique will probably be cheering the mother of his son during the ceremonies.

Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” collaboration with Wyclef Jean, Haiti’s hip-hop producer and musician/singer became a runaway hit. The video featured carnival scenes, voudou imagery and her trademark gyrations immediately branded her a super-entertainer. After performances at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards and again at the Grammy Awards the following year, she became a household sensation.

Shakira will be accompanied by Brazilian percussionist and singer Carlinhos Brown.

Along with Shakira, FIFA chose Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana, Haitian-American Jean and a number of Brazilian entertainers for the final spectacle. Together with Alexandre Pires they will perform “Dar Um Jeito,” the official anthem of the 2014 World Cup. Translated from Portuguese the theme declares “We Will Find a Way.”

The announcement came one day before Shakira’s native Colombian team was scheduled to play Brazil in the quarter-finals. That game follows the France-Germany match. The following day, July 4, Argentina is slated to meet Belgium -- the team that nixed America’s hopes of moving forward by winning 2-1in overtime play.

The last hope for CONCACAF rests with Costa Rica’s chances against the Dutch power-house team representing the Netherlands.

A samba performance featuring students from one of Rio de Janeiro schools that participate in the city’s famous pre-Lenten carnival celebrations will also highlight the celebrations.

According to the FIFA statement, another Brazilian singer-songwriter Ivete Sangalo “will bring a distinctive local flavor to the show.”

That performance is expected to include collaboration with Pires and feature a medley of well-known Brazilian songs.

Slated to be held at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the closing ceremony will feature the entertainment segment that will preview the final match of the tournament to decide the overall winner of the football Olympics.

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