Shakira to Headline World Cup Closing Ceremonies

The winner of the Golden Ball, for the most outstanding player of the World Cup, will not be announced until the day after the final between France and Italy.

In a break with tradition, voting by journalists covering the World Cup will remain open until midnight on the night of the final, with the winner announced Monday at 10 a.m. local time (0800 GMT).

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In 2002, voting closed at halftime in the final, with the winner announced after the match. In previous tournaments, voting closed after the third-place game.

FIFA communications director Markus Siegler said organizers decided to keep the voting open to ensure the entire tournament was reflected in the outcome, instead of just 63 1/2 matches.

German goalkeeper Oliver Khan won the Golden Ball in 2002. Other previous winners include Brazilians Ronaldo (1998) and Romario ('94), Italians Salvatore Schillaci ('90) and Paolo Rossi ('82) and Argentina's Diego Maradona in 1986.

The final will be preceded by a 10-minute closing ceremony.

Shakira and 400 performers will rev up the pre-match festivities in a "Love Parade" style entry that organizers hope will showcase this German generation.

The Colombian songstress will work her way down the stone stairs from the Marathon entrance of Berlin's Olympic stadium with local musicians and dancers in a 10-minute performance.

Californian choreographer Doug Jack, who has worked on opening and closing ceremonies at the last five Olympics, said the program aimed to bring the energy and enthusiasm from the Fan Mile — where hundreds of thousands have gathered to watch World Cup matches on giant TV screens — into the stadium for the final.

The mixture of vibes from the Fan Mile and the Love Parade, the capital's Love Parade techno fest that drew 1.5 million to downtown Berlin at its peak in 1999, is something Jack said he wants to "bring into the arena and let go before the match."

For Shakira, it's a stop between gigs in Spain and Croatia.

Her single "Hips Don't Lie" is second in Billboard's Hot 100 behind "Promiscuous" by Canada's Nelly Furtado, whose "Forca" was anthem of the 2004 European Championship.

The ceremony's creative director, Dieter Brell, said the World Cup had given Germany a chance to express a new image around the globe. The program was short, he added, because the focus of the people at the stadium was on the match.

"We want to show Germany as our generation sees it," he said. "We're trying to be modern with the image of Germany we're presenting.

"Our image has changed the last four weeks — we're a country that can dance and party and knows how to have fun."

The closing ceremony will be set on the area around the area where the Olympic flame burned during the 1936 Games, which is usually vacant during soccer matches.

Italian tenor Placido Domingo will sing at halftime in the final, "so there's a musical framework for what is happening on the pitch," Brell said.

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