Posted: 6/15/2014
Title: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARACANA

Blog:                                                                                                                         

Sixty five years today one of the most famous stadiums on the planet opened for World Cup 1950. It culminated that tournament with the last match URUGUAY 2 v BRAZIL 1. The hosts only need to draw to become world champions! The defeat is called MARACANAZO! After that Brazil ditched their white jerseys and the winning design for the new one featured the now famous yellow, green, white and sky blue

I first visited in 1980 and have been many times. You can even jog the 1 km perimeter around the outside, The run is called COOPERS after Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the Cooper Clinic in Dallas who was brought in to increase the cardio vascular fitness of the SELECAO..the national team in the 1970's

On that fateful day in 1950 over 200,000 showed up for the expected crowning on home soil in what was then Brazil's capital city. I once enjoyed a derby between Flamengo and Vasco da Game with 100,000 plus. The largest crowd anywhere that I was in was Hampden Park 1966 for Scotland v England prior to the World Cup, 123,000 Scotland 3 v England 4.

World Cup 1950 June 24-July 18. Only 13 teams from 3 confederations. Brazil opened at Maracana 2-0 v Yugoslavia. 142,000. England beat Chile there 2-0 30,000 Mannion and Mortensen, before losing to USA in Estadio Independiencia in Belo Horizonte att 10,000. They then lost to Spain 1-0 in Maracana 74,000 and went home. Before England's third match in this 2014 World Cup against Costa Rica on 24th June that is their designated training pitch!!

Argentina v Bosnia was my first visit since the massively costly reconstruction. Three lines of heavily armed police then bag search and we were inside. Capacity now 75,000 and no more moat, no more tiers of stands BUT the place doesn't stink of urine anymore....just stinks of corruption in the bidding..or lack of it!! The old concrete roof has been replaced by a fiberglass tensioned membrane covering 95% of fans. Very comfortable sears in blue, white and yellow,,,combined with the green pitch, the national colours. c

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