75 Days to 2014 FIFA World Cup

Saturday, March 29, 2014
In just 70 days I am leaving Denmark to visit Brazil. I will arrive in Fortaleza just 4 days before the 20th FIFA World Cup kick-off!

Did you know that it has been 64 years since Brazil last hosted the World Cup? In 1950 there was no official final match.

1950 FIFA World Cup
Brazil built the planet's biggest football stadium as a breathtaking stage for the 1950 World Cup. The tournament winner was decided by a final round-robin group contested by four teams; Uruguay, Brazil, Sweden and Spain. Coincidentally, one of the last two matches of the tournament pitted the two top ranked teams against each other: Uruguay and Brazil.

With Brazil one point ahead of Uruguay going into the final round, Uruguay needed a win while Brazil only needed to avoid defeat.

The press and the general public of Brazil had already started claiming Brazil as the new World Champions days prior to the final match. And with good reason. Brazil had won both their matches against Spain (6-1) and Sweden (7-1). Meanwhile Uruguay had encountered difficulties. Managing only a draw against Spain (2-2) and a narrow victory over Sweden (3-2). It seemed as Brazil was to become the new World Champions.

The Match
On the morning of the final match day 16 July 1950, the streets of Rio de Janeiro were filled with activity. An improvised carnival was arranged before the first whistle blow of the match.

The Maracanã stadium was filled with a paid attendance of 173,830, but an actual estimated attendance of 210,000 cheering fans. A record that remains to this day.

Even with the convincing victories of Brazil the 1st half remained goalless. Shortly after half-time Brazil took the lead, as Friaça scored. But mid-way through the 2nd half Schiaffino equalized, with  Uruguay still in need of another goal. With just 11 minutes remaining Ghiggia hit the winning goal. Uruguay claimed the title as World Champions.

Uruguay had played only one match, beating Bolivia (8-0), to reach the final stage. Uruguay's 2-1 victory against Brazil is considered the final match of 1950 World Cup. It is also considered to be one of the biggest upsets in football history. The term Maracanaço or The Maracanã Blow first became synonymous with the match.

This was the first FIFA World Cup since the end of the 2nd World War. During the war the trophy had been hidden in a shoebox under the bed of the Italian FIFA vice president Dr. Ottorino Barassi.

2014 FIFA World Cup
This summer the FIFA World Cup returns to Brazil after 64 years! And the Brazilians are hungry for a victory on their own soil.

The tournament begins on 12 June 2014 and ends on 13 July 2014. And I will be there for the whole tournament watching matches and feeling the Brazilian vibe as the whole country demands retribution.

I am confident that Brazil will claim the title as World Champions this time and hopefully avoid another Maracanã Blow in Rio de Janeiro. Go Brazil!
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