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Monday, January 18, 2010

Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro

October 1996

In the mid 90’s, on my way to work assignments in Sao Paolo, I changed flights in Rio de Janeiro. Two different trips meant I made this change four times and thus either landed at or took off from Galeão International, Rio’s principal airport, on eight occasions. The airport is located just a few miles north of the city and you seemed to get some pretty decent aerial views of Rio regardless of the flight path. The big and inexcusable sin hidden in amongst this tale is that I didn’t take a camera with me on either of the two trips. What a numpty. If I’d had one to hand I would have been able to take a picture not that dissimilar to this one, as we soared over Rio’s famous beaches and its iconic landmarks...

Rio de Janeiro

...the statue of Christ the Redeemer standing atop Corcovado Hill, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Copacabana beach, Ipanema beach and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon were all NOT captured on my camera. Also NOT captured on camera was the Maracanã Stadium which we flew over on the last of my two return trips.

One of the world’s best known stadiums the Maracana - which officially became the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho following the death of the Brazilian journalist and writer Mário Filho who was a leading campaigner behind its original construction - will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics as well as the 2014 World Cup final, although at a significantly lower capacity than when it hosted its first major finals, those of 1950 World Cup.

Then an official attendance of 199,854 watched the final group match between the host nation and Uruguay, the actual attendance though is reported to have been around the 210,000 mark, the largest ever gathering for a game of football anywhere in the world. Brazil required a draw to finish top of the group, and to lift the Jules Rimet trophy, but Uruguay won the game 2-1. A result that remains deeply burnt into the psyche of many Brazilians despite the fact that five World Cup triumphs have since followed.

When first opened the Maracanã was the largest stadium in the world but despite its reduced all-seated capacity of 88,992 it is still the largest stadium in South America and fifty years on the place is to get a £175 million face-lift. As a classified historic monument (equivalent to being a listed building in the UK) the original facade will be maintained but a brand new roof will be added atop the five-storey oval stadium.

Having a camera to hand as we banked over the Maracanã may well have yielded a pic like this...

Maracanã Stadium

Pictures from here and here.

posted by chevblue at 7:18 pm






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Blackburn Rovers
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Blackpool
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Bolton Wanderers
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Boston United
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Bradford City
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Braintree Town
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Brantham Athletic
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Brentford
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Crewe Alexandra
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Debenham Leisure Centre
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Derby County
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Derby County
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Eastleigh
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Ely City
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Everton
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Gosport Borough
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Great Yarmouth Town
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Hamble ASSC
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Harwich & Parkeston
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Northern Spirit
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RSC Anderlect
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AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
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FC Groningen
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FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

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(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle
(Oosterenkstadion)

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
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Vitesse Arnhem
(Gelredome)

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)

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Bray Wanderers
(Carlisle Grounds)

Dublin City
(Tolka Park)

ITALY

Inter Milan
(San Siro)

LUXEMBOURG

Avenir Beggen
(Stade Josy-Barthel)

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Skeid Oslo
(Ulevall)

POLAND

Widzew Lodz
(Stadion LKS)

SPAIN

Barcelona
(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
(San Bernabeu)

Valencia
(Luis Casanova)

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Orgryte IS
(Gamla Ullevi (Old))

Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois
(Idrottspark)

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF
(Strandvallen)

Trelleborgs FF
(Vangavallen)

IFK Goteborg
(Ullevi)

USA

Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures
(Odeum)

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Tampa Bay Stadium)