It was an event that was as much embraced as it was resented. A showcase for what Brazilian footballing legend Pele was the first to describe as the ‘beautiful game’, the World Cup was also criticised as an extravagance.
Widespread anger surfaced over corruption, misplaced priorities and overspending drawing a million marchers on to the streets in protest.
But Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff told Al Jazeera the nation had risen to the challenge: "I believe Brazil has excelled in organising this World Cup and should be congratulated for it."
The month-long tournament cost around $11bn at a time when economic growth is forecast at less than 1 percent.
Added to that, Brazil’s footballers suffered a humiliating 7-1 defeat against a German side that went on to win their fourth World Cup final, in front of an estimated television audience of more than a billion people.
So as the crowds drift away, and Brazil counts the cost of hosting the competition, the question remains: Was it all worth it?
Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault
Roberto Forzoni - a sports psychologist.
Mauricio Savarese - football journalist and Author of 'A to Zico: An Alphabet of Brazilian Football'.
Marcio Januario - social entrepreneur and founder of a theatre project in Brazil's poor neighbourhoods.