The first ever World Cup to be staged in Africa is still 214 days off but work is already well under way in Brazil to make ready for that soccer power’s second hosting of the world’s premiere sport event. By game time in June or July 2014, it will have been 64 years since the tournament paid its first visit.
Rio’s Maracana stadium hosted the 1950 final match and it is being modernized – for the third time – to make ready for the return engagement. It will be a totally different venue than the over packed Maracana that allowed a crowd of 200,000 to witness Uruguay’s shocking 1 – 2 defeat of the home side.
Only one stadium has hosted two World Cup Final matches and in the annals of history, both are giants. The honor belongs to the timelessly beautiful Azteca shrine in Mexico City.
Azteca’s majesty also harbors another unheralded yet totally amazing record.
In a 2003 interview for 90 Minutes Magazine I talked with the man who was stadium announcer for those finals and for every other match ever played in the Collosus of Saint Ursula since the 1966 inaugural. Melquiades Sanchez Orosco, possessor of one of the most amazing feats in football, is a wonderful personality.
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