Built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, officially named after legendary journalist Mario Filho, the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho is better known as the Maracanã Stadium. Built from August 1948 and officially opened on 16 June 1950 the Maracanã Stadium has played an iconic role in the history of football. Built to be the largest stadium in the world it boasted a capacity of 200 000 people. It is on this hallowed ground that Uruguay shocked the hosts by clinching the 1950 edition of the tournament with a 2-1 victory.
Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro – largest stadium in the world?
Since then, the stadium has been renovated three times in 2000, 2006 and most recently in 2013 into 2014 as preparations for this year’s FIFA World Cup. The original layout of the stadium was kept best as possible as a new roof was fitted, all the seats were replaced and a rain collection system installed. All the historical rule changes for stadia to comply with has seen the capacity of Maracanã Stadium drop to 74 698 people but it is still the biggest stadium in the country.
Some of Brazil’s greatest ever players, Zico, Garrincha and Pele, have all graced the pitch at the Maracanã Stadium. Pele in November 1969 triggered a pitch invasion when he scored his 1000th goal for Santos at the ground. Fourteen years later thousands gathered in the stadium to pay their last respects to legend Garrincha as his remains were bought here after his passing away.
World Cup Matches 2014 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Maracana shall continue making history as it will host the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 13th 2014. In the build up to the final it will also host the following matches:
- June 15- Argentina vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina
- June 18- Spain vs. Chile
- June 22- Belgium vs. Russia
- June 25- Ecuador vs. France
- June 28- Winner Group C vs. Runner-up Group D
- July 4- Quarter- Final
- July 13- Final