With less than two months to go until the start of the 2014 World Cup, we take at look at the 12 venues that will play host to 64 World Cup matches in Brazil this summer.
Arena Amazonia, Manaus
Games: England v Italy (14/06), Cameroon v Croatia (18/06), USA v Portugal (22/06), Honduras v Switzerland (25/06)
Located in the Amazon rainforest, Manaus can be very warm and humid during June and July and so it is likely that teams will find the going tough in the four games being played at Arena Amazonia. England fans will be hoping that the conditions don’t affect Roy Hodgson’s side too much though as they face Italy on 14th June in a crucial opening match.
Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo
Games: Brazil v Croatia (12/06), Uruguay v England (19/06), Netherlands v Chile (23/06), South Korea v Belgium (26/06), Round of 16 (01/07), Semi final (09/07)
Thanks to the World Cup draw this venue could play a major part in proceedings during the summer. First, the eyes of the world will be on Arena Corinthians on 12th July when Brazil and Croatia take to the field for the opening game of the tournament. Exactly one week later there is another huge game as England face Uruguay in a match that could decide both teams’ fates in this tournament.
Arena da Baixada, Curitiba
Games: Iran v Nigeria (16/06), Honduras v Ecuador (20/06), Australia v Spain (23/06), Algeria v Russia (26/06)
Having first opened in 1914 Arena da Baixada is the oldest of all the 2014 World Cup stadiums and also one of the most highly regarded. Considered one of the finest stadiums in Brazil since being renovated in 1999, the stadium is currently receiving another facelift ahead of the World Cup although progress seems to be slow.
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
Games: Spain v Netherlands (13/06), Germany v Portugal (16/06), Switzerland v France (20/06), Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran (25/06), Round of 16 (01/07), Quarter final (05/07)
After renovation work was completed ahead of the Confederations Cup, Arena Fonte Nova hit the headlines in May 2013 when part of the roof collapsed following heavy rainfall. There have been no repeat incidents since then and officials will hope that it will be plain sailing during the World Cup as the stadium will be hosting two huge group games.
Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba
Games: Chile v Australia (13/06), Russia v South Korea (17/06), Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina (21/06), Japan v Colombia (24/06)
There have been plenty of stories about slow progress in the building of stadiums for Brazil 2014 and Arena Pantanal is one of the best examples because, at the time of writing, the purpose built stadium has still not been completed – although, encouragingly, it did host its first official game recently.
Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Games: Ivory Coast v Japan (14/06), Italy v Costa Rica (20/06), Croatia v Mexico (23/06), USA v Germany (26/06), Round of 16 (29/06)
A brand new stadium built specifically for this World Cup, Arena Pernambuco is based in football crazy city of Recife and has been the home of Nautico, one of the city’s three big teams, since 2013.
Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
Games: France v Honduras (15/06), Australia v Netherlands (18/06), South Korea v Algeria (22/06), Nigeria v Argentina (25/06), Round of 16 match (30/06)
The most southerly of all the World Cup host cities, Porto Alegre can be quite cool during June and July and usually experiences lots of rain – meaning that Estadio Beira-Rio could be a popular venue for fans and players from countries more familiar with colder weather.
Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza
Games: Uruguay v Costa Rica (14/06), Brazil v Mexico (17/06), Germany v Ghana (21/06), Greece v Ivory Coast (24/06), Round of 16 (29/06), Quarter final (04/07)
In addition to being named as a World Cup venue Estadio Castelao was also one of the six stadiums used during the 2013 Confederations Cup and actually played host to a game between Brazil and Mexico during that tournament – just like it will in the World Cup.
Estadio das Dunas, Natal
Games: Mexico v Cameroon (13/06), Ghana v USA (16/06), Japan v Greece (19/06), Italy v Uruguay (24/06)
The smallest of the 12 stadiums being used at Brazil 2014, Estadio das Dunas may only host four games during the World Cup but could be very important for England as the final match sees Italy and Uruguay go head to head on 24th June.
Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
Games: Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina (15/06), Spain v Chile (18/06), Belgium v Russia (22/06), Ecuador v France (25/06), Round of 16 (28/06), Quarter final (04/07), Final (13/07)
One of the most famous football stadiums in the world, the Maracana was originally built for the 1950 World Cup and set a world record attendance when 199,854 people entered the ground to watch the final between Brazil and Uruguay. Things have changed a lot since those days and the stadium was completely renovated ahead of the 2014 World Cup, reducing the capacity to 78,838 among other things. When it hosts the final on 13th July, the Maracana will also become only the second stadium to have hosted two World Cup finals.
Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
Games: Colombia v Greece (14/06), Belgium v Algeria (17/06), Argentina v Iran (21/06), Costa Rica v England (24/06), Round of 16 (28/06), Semi final (08/07)
One of the oldest stadiums being used in this summer’s World Cup, Estadio Mineirao could prove to be a popular venue with English fans as they will face Costa Rica there and could also return if they make it through to the semi final that is being played there.
Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, Brasilia
Games: Switzerland v Ecuador (15/06), Colombia v Ivory Coast (19/06), Cameroon v Brazil (23/06), Portugal v Ghana (26/06), Round of 16 (30/06), Quarter final (05/07), 3rd/4th Place Playoff (12/07)
The second biggest of the 12 World Cup venues, Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha is named after one of Brazil’s most famous footballing sons and the star of their 1962 World Cup winning team, Garrincha. The stadium has been around for some time but was completely rebuilt ahead of the World Cup to bring it up to FIFA standards.