Uruguay's Soccer team, is called La Celeste for their sky-blue uniforms. And as Uruguay qualifies for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazilians are seeing the ghost of Uruguay from July 16, 1950. It is the date, when against all odds, Uruguay beat Brazil in the most extreme World Cup match upset in history.
The 1950 World Cup was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the Estádio do Maracanã that was built for the World Cup event.
Brazil played aggressively and beat every opposing team with little effort leading up to the final match.
The deciding match was with Uruguay, which had been struggling every inch of the way to the final match.
It seemed like a sure thing that Brazil would win.
- There had even been a carnival celebrating Brazil’s eminent victory.
- A thousand signs had been made proclaiming Brazil as the winner.
- A special Brazilian victory song had been composed for the event.
- Twenty two gold medals with the names of the Brazilian players had been made.
- And a congratulatory speech for the Brazilians had been prepared in advance.
The match was held before the largest audience in soccer in history with an estimated 200,000 people packed in the stadium.
When the match ended... Uruguay had scored two goals and Brazil... one goal.
To this day, big soccer upsets in the region are commonly referred to as a Maracanazo.
Uruguay’s 1950 victory is largely credited to the inspirational words of Uruguay’s team captian Obdulio Varla, who encouraged the team to disregard their coach’s recommendation of focusing on defense, and play aggressively to score
Watch the short 7-minute documentary below about the fateful day, July 16, 1950 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.