World Cup 2014: Brazil Opens 72,800-Seat National Mané Garrincha Stadium

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 21, 2013

The preparations for the World Cup finals in Brazil next year are gathering at pace as the country opened its latest stadium in the capital, Brasilia.

The new 72,800-seater National Mané Garrincha Stadium was unveiled on Saturday ahead of its first match, the Federal District league championship final between Brasilia and Brasiliense.

The new stadium is the fifth to be completed and handed over in readiness for the World Cup finals next year following the re-opening of the iconic Maracana Stadium last month, as the Daily Mail reported.

The latest addition to the 2014 roster is an impressive sight in the Brazilian capital. The stadium stands at 46 metres high and is divided into four sectors with eight storeys, 19 gates and 158 turnstiles at the entrance points.

The stadium has also been designed to host events, concerts, conferences and meetings as well as football matches, and has 74 boxes, 276 toilets, 40 bars, two restaurants and 14 snack bars.

The stadium took two years to complete and will stage the opening Confederations Cup match between Brazil and Japan on June 13 next month.

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For the vast majority of football fans across the world, it will be the name of the stadium which is most synonymous with the World Cup.

Mané Garrincha is a Brazil legend after being one of the star names in the country's World Cup triumphs in 1958 and 1962.

The Botafogo winger won his first cap against Chile in 1955 and went on to play 50 times for his country before his final appearance for Brazil in the 3-1 defeat to Hungary at Goodison Park during the 1966 World Cup finals.

Garrincha was granted a farewell match in 1973 following his retirement from the game a year earlier.

Garrincha died in January 1983 at the age of just 49 though cirrhosis of the liver after a long battle with alcoholism, as BBC Sport reported in a 2008 tribute to the player.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter also congratulated the 2014 organising committee and the Brazilian people in a letter.

There are some amazing stadiums that have taken shape, changing the face of Brazil’s football infrastructure and creating a legacy that will extend beyond the final whistle.

The Estadio Nacional de Brasilia Mane Garrincha is one of these stadiums, a tribute to a true FIFA World Cup legend. I can still recall his incredible play in 1958 and in 1962 in particular. They were unforgettable moments.

There are few Brazilian cities that can match Brasilia when it comes to architecture, and this impressive new stadium is a reflection of that.