Brazil is scrambling to prepare for the World Cup, which begins next week. Arenas are unbuilt, costs continue to rise — the country is projected to spend $11.5 billion, making this the most expensive World Cup in history — and Brazilians are protesting against the wastefulness. Will the country be ready for the competition? And will it be worth it?

**Behind-the-Scenes Bonus: An Express designer brought in an official World Cup ball to deflate for the cover image. Fancy.**

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