As we reach the semi-final phase of the World Cup there are just four active host cities left from the original twelve. Belo Horizonte (above) and São Paulo (below) will host the two semi-finals this week while Brasília will host the third and fourth place play-off, and Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium will stage the final on Sunday, 13 July.
So it is a huge thanks from football fans around the world for a job well done in hosting the games to the cities and people of:
- Cuiaba – Arena Pantanal
- Curitiba – Arena da Baixada
- Fortaleza – Castelão
- Manaus – Arena Amazonia
- Natal – Estadio das Dunas – Machadão
- Porto Alegre – Beria Rio
- Recife – Pernambuco Arena
- Salvador – Fonte Nova Arena
The final touches are taking place at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro so that it can be ready to host its first matches since it closed its doors after a game between Flamengo and Santos on 5 September 2010.
The first game after 912 days, is expected to take place on 27 April 2013 between two teams made up of the friends of Brazilian World Cup legends Ronaldo and Bebeto.
The first official game at the “new” stadium, and the first the general public will be allowed to attend, will be on 2 June when Brazil takes on England.
The capacity of the “new” Maracanã, which is scheduled to host three Confederations Cup matches in June, including the final on 30 June, will be 78,639. The stadium is set to host seven matches during the FIFA World Cup in 2014, including the final. It will also host the opening and closing ceremonies during the 2016 Olympic Games.
Brazil is scheduled to play England twice in 2013 as Brazil prepares for the Confederations Cup and England look ahead to the 2014 World Cup.
The first game is scheduled for Wednesday, 6 February at Wembley Stadium in London as part of The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
The two teams will then meet again Sunday, 2 June in a match that will mark the re-opening of the “new” Maracanã Stadium (photo) in Rio de Janeiro, the iconic stadium that will host the World Cup Final in 2014, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington said: “We’re delighted Brazil will kick-off The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations at Wembley. 2013 is a landmark year for The FA and an exciting England fixture programme, in addition to Wembley hosting the UEFA Champions League Final, will form a key part of the celebrations. As the most successful footballing nation, with great players and supporters, it will be fantastic to launch this important year in English football’s history against such outstanding opponents as Brazil.”
There are number of pages on Facebook that feature historic photos of Rio de Janeiro, including the Maracana and football in general. A few are featured here…
Pages on Facebook to like include:
While in Rio in June 2012 for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Britain’s deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, dropped in on the Maracanã Stadium to see how the redevelopment work was progressing.
Clegg was shown around the stadium by Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winning team, and Rio State Secretary for Sports, Márcia Lins.