Rio de Janeiro World Cup

The mighty Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro was the sight of the painfully infamous Brazilian defeat to Uruguay 0 – 1 during the final of the 1950 world cup. Uruguayans gleefully named the event ‘Maracanzo’—to forever remain a moment of pain and pride for the two South American nations. 

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MaracanãFor the 2014 World Cup the sacred Maracana stadium has been revamped to allow comfortably seating for over 75,000 spectators and will naturally host the tournament final on the 13th of July, 2014.
No doubt glued to the television screen on this day will the many millions of Brazilian football fans, both at home and abroad. Of these millions of passionate football fans a large part are avid followers of the four major clubs of Rio de Janiero, Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Botafogo and Fluminense.

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Back in the early days of Rio, rowing was the physical past-time of choice for middle-class Carioca’s and of the four top Rio football clubs today three started life as rowing clubs (at that time the perfect sport to impress the ladies) before rolling with the times and bowing to the popularity of the ‘beautiful game’.

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Rio de JaneiroBotafogo’s golden oldie fan base fondly recall the clubs golden era in the 1960s, when the club plundered silverware all around and nurtured the skills of players such as Garrincha and Amarildo. One of Botafogo’s three rivals, Flamengo, is the most popular football team in Brazil today, claiming at least 30 million supporters, and the enviable title of being the second-richest club in South America. The renowned Flu-Fla derby pits the wealth of Flamengo against the talent of Fluminense, another of the four major Rio clubs and the team that most regularly calls the Maracana stadium it’s home ground.

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The final of the four clubs, Vasco da Gama, traditionally counts many Portuguese-immigrants among its supporters and is thought of as something of a pioneering club when it came to racial equality in Brazilian sports, having rebelled against player exclusion on the grounds of race in 1920s and 1930s Brazil.

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