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Brazil unveils official poster for 2014 World Cup

(Reuters) - Brazil presented the official poster for the 2014 World Cup at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, unveiling bright colors and fluid patterns that evoke the tropical nation's rich flora and fauna.

Designed by the Crama agency, it shows a map of Brazil between two players challenging for a ball.

"The official poster is an important step to showcase Brazil and the FIFA World Cup in the host country and abroad," said retired soccer star Ronaldo, one of the three members on the World Cup's local organizing committee.

"It is important to convey the message of a country that is modern, innovative, sustainable, happy, united and, of course, passionate about football," he said.

The winning poster was chosen over two others by a panel that included: Ronaldo, former player Bebeto, artist Romero Britto and Brazilian Culture Minister Marta Suplicy.

Brazil's 12 host cities released their individual posters in November. The country has chosen an armadillo named Fuleco as the official mascot.

The presentation was to have taken place on Monday, 500 days before the tournament kicks off. However, the ceremony was delayed because of a nightclub fire in Santa Maria that killed 235 people.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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