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Maracana Stadium

The Maracana Stadium is a major football stadium located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup.


Maracana Stadium Capacity


The stadium is owned by the government and not the clubs, thus being used by clubs through the payment of rent. The stadium used to have a capacity of almost 200,000, but has been reduced to the current capacity of 78,838 due to renovations which replaced the terraced sections with seats.


It is still the largest stadium in Brazil and the second largest in South America. The record attendance of the stadium is at a massive 199,854 in the World Cup match between Brazil and Uruguay in 1950.


Maracana Stadium


History


The construction of the stadium was a slow affair and took three years to complete.


The first match took place on 16 June 1950, between Rio de Janeiro All Stars and Sao Paulo. Despite having played the first match in 1950, the stadium was completed only in 1965.


The first competitive match was between Brazil and Mexico, where Brazil ran away with a 4-0 win. The stadium also featured on a stamp commemorating the 1950 FIFA World Cup.


Major Matches


Being one of the best stadiums in the world at the time of completion and given the craze for football in Brazil, the stadium hosted many major tournaments starting with 1950 FIFA World Cup.


Tournaments such as the 1989 Copa America, 2013 Confederations Cup, and the 2014 World Cup have been held here. The Maracana Complex also witnessed the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.


The Maracana was a jam-packed venue for the 2014 World Cup final which was held here, with an attendance of 74,738 witnessing Germany’s late 1-0 win over Argentina.


Controversies


The Maracana stadium was involved in major controversy during its initial stage when FIFA allowed matches to be played in an incomplete stadium with no proper toilets and the site still looking like a construction site.


The stadium has borne three renovations and its capacity went on reducing with each renovation. The new Maracana in 2013 opened controversially in a 2-2 draw between Brazil and England even after authorities tried calling it off due to safety concerns.


After the 2016 Summer Olympic games, the stadium lacked maintenance until new managers came and took over the management for another 35 years.


Recent Matches


The major matches held recently were the 2016 Summer Olympics which the hosts won by defeating Germany in an entertaining 5-4 penalty shootout. Brazil also won a semifinal by a tidy margin of 6-0 here against Honduras.


The gold medal was a major win for Brazil in recent years after their disappointing exit in 2014 World Cup when they were mauled 7-1 by eventual champions Germany.


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