Legendary Maracanã Stadium, Brazil - Iconic Venue Of Football Lovers
Maracanã stadium is the key stadium for Olympic Games. Just taking a little dip into the history stream of this stadium, you are able to know how important the stadium is to Rio and people there. When being erected, it was the greatest stadium in Latin America and soon became “the temple of football” in the football-loving country - Brazil.
Maracanã at present
The stadium was first called “Municipal”. Its official name is Mário Filho. The construction of the stadium got approval of the president of the Republic 'Eurico Gaspar Dutra' and was strongly supported by the journalist Mário Rodrigues Filho. Therefore, to honor this dedicated journalist, after his death, the stadium was named after him by the administrators. However, the stadium has always possessed the popular nickname Maracanã which is from a small river in the stadium's neighborhood. The name "Maracanã" has been used as the common referent today.
When having the right to host the FIFA World Cup in 1950, the Brazilian authority planned to build a new stadium for the competition. At that time, the construction of Maracanã was protested by Carlos Lacerda, the Congress and political opponents of the city mayor for some reasons like the considerable expense and the suitable stadium’s location. Many argued that it should be built in the West neighborhood of Jacarepaguá. The contemporary location of Maracana was chosen for a tennis ground. Thanks to the great support of journalist Mário Filho and Mendes de Morais, the project was able to be done.
The stadium under construction
For the project, there was a competition for the design and construction opened by the local government of Rio de Janeiro in 1947. Engineer Humberto Menescal won the construction contract while seven Brazilian architects won the architectural contract. At that time, the first World Cup would be hosted on 24 June 1950 so the construction had to be finished in two years. Although the stadium could be in use in 1950, the construction was truly completed in 1965.
- Opening and 1950 FIFA World Cup
Maracanã stadium was allowed to host the first World Cup match by FIFA on 24 June 1950 with attendance of 81,000 spectators. As the opening match of the stadium started operation, it still looked like a site under construction lacking of toilet facilities and a press stand. People said that at this point of time the stadium might house 200,000 standing spectators.
Maracanã stadium in 1950
In the historical domestic match, the team Rio de Janeiro All-Stars beat São Paulo All-Stars with the score 3–1. Didi was the excellent player who scored the first ever goal at this venue. In the match for which Maracanã had been constructed, Ademir become the first hero to score decisive goal in 30th-minute strike which helped Brazil lead Mexico with a final score 4–0. This talented scorer got two goals in all. The football game was under control of an English referee George Reader.
Uruguay vs Brazil in The 1950 World Cup
Five of six football games of the tournament took place at Maracanã. Making a progress in the final round, Brazil only needed a draw to finish as champion but the failure when facing Uruguay in the deciding match with score 2–1 disappointed the massive crowd of the Brazilian. Of course, this failure on homeland quickly became a significant event in history of Brazil.
- Stadium completion and post-World Cup years
After the event of World Cup in 1950, Maracanã Stadium has chiefly been used for club games of four main football clubs: RioVasco, Botafogo, Flamengo and Fluminense. The stadium has also hosted various indoor final matches. In 1965, 17 years from the date beginning to construct, the stadium was at last completed. In 1969, at the stadium, player Pelé got the 1000th goal in the match against CR Vasco da Gama in his career. In 1989, the final round of the Copa America was hold there.
That an upper stand of Maracanã Stadium collapsed in the final game between Botafogo vs Flamengo caused the death of three spectators and injuries for 50 individuals. Because of this, the stadium's capacity dropped considerably in the 1990s. The ground, nevertheless, was considered as a national landmark in 1998 and became a place to host the first ever FIFA Club World Cup final match. Renovations in 21st century and 2014 FIFA World Cup
The opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games
Being renovated, at the 50th anniversary in 2000, the stadium had the capacity of around 103,000 people. Then, the stadium closed in several years and reopened in January 2007 with enough seats for 87,000 spectators. To host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, the authority initiated reconstruction in 2010 with new one-tier seating bowl and the roof with a fiberglass. Almost all seats colored yellow, blue and white were covered by the new roof, so there is no need for spectators to worry about the weather condition.
A scene of the closing ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
On 12 June 2014, Brazil defeated Croatia 3–1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in São Paulo. Unluckily, in the World Cup on Maracanã at that time, the host Brazil could not reach the final after failure in the semi-finals 7-1 by Germany. This victory gave Germany another chance to win Argentina 1–0 in extra time in the final.
Maracanã stadium is also a place to held international sports competitions like 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, volleyball matches between Brazil and the USSR played at the ground in 1980 and 1983, the opening and closing ceremonies of the XV Pan American Games. Also, it was chosen to host the opening ceremony and closing ceremony in the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics as well. Some musical events were hold at this place.
2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony
Despite the fact that the total capacity went down significantly, Maracanã stadium remains one of the most vital temples of the king sport - soccer. Let’s come and enjoy football matches at this stadium once in your life!