A ‘bloodbath’ on the pitch, a riot in the streets

“The Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro has a special, rueful place in the Brazilian psyche. It is beloved by all who have seen it, even at its rundown worst. When it came to be renovated for the first time, it was feared it was an impossible task. So much human urine had been expelled over its concrete foundations that it had made the stadium structurally unsound. It was also the venue of an event that Brazilians had never forgotten, from the last time the country hosted the tournament: the 1950 World Cup final. Those who weren’t born then have never been allowed to forget it either.” CNN – James Montague


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