World Cup 2014: Rio horror show or a samba sensation?

“Last time the World Cup was held in Brazil, in 1950, it was designed as the propaganda centre-piece of Getúlio Vargas’s Estado Novo, the concrete sweep of the Maracanã, a modernist wonder that would be reflected in Oscar Niemeyer’s designs for the new capital, Brasília. Football, though, can be delightfully unpredictable and rather than consecrating the new Brazilian state, the World Cup offered a national disaster – ‘our Hiroshima’, as the playwright Nelson Rodrigues tastelessly put it – as Brazil, needing only a draw in the final game to seal the title, were beaten by Uruguay.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

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