Estadio Azteca: Football’s Holy Ground

Estadio Azteca: Football’s Holy Ground

Situated along the Avenida del Iman route in Mexico City, and boasting a seating capacity of 87,523, The Estadio Azteca is a World symbol. Opened in 1966 with a fixture between Club America and the great Torino. It was designed by architects Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca It holds the unique distinction of having staged two FIFA World Cup Opening Matches and Two Finals, and has hosted a record 19 tournament games overall.

 


Home to the Mexican national team, Club America and Cruz Azul, it is a slaughter slab for rivals. It was where the tricolor snapped an eight-game losing streak against Brazil, securing a 2-1 win over Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winners in 1968.

 

It was also the venue of O Seleccao’s 1999 Confederations Cup loss to a Cuauhtemoc Blanco-led Mexico.

 

The Azteca is the only stadium to have hosted four FIFA tournaments: The World Cup, the U-20 World Cup, the U-17 World Cup, and the Confederations Cup. It has also recorded six of the ten biggest attendances in World Cup history.

 

It has broken attendance records not only in football but outside of it as well, with 132,000 spectators watching Mexican darling Julio Cesar Chavez technically knock out American Greg Haugen at the Azteca in 1993.

 

It remains the second highest-attended boxing match of all time. Ten years earlier, 110,000 spectators witnessed Brazil beat Argentina one-nil in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Final.

 

Marked as one of the host stadiums for the United 2026 World Cup, Estadio Azteca has the envious record of being the stadium to boast;

 

  1. The most deafening roar in football history after Manuel Negrete’s scissor-kick sent 115,000 fans into raptures in the 1986 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 clash against Bulgaria

 

  1. It popularized the Mexican Wave, Now a regular sight at the world cup.

 

  1. Hand of God and the Goal of the Century: Diego Armando Maradona’s famed hand of God happened here,The goal Shilton would never forgive him for, while the English goaltender could do nothing about the second, the goal of the century; a run from inside his own half leaving no less than five England players for dead. It took him 11seconds.

 

  1. The lung-busting burst: Aided by Maradona’s weighted pass, Jorge Burruchaga ran 40-yards before firing past West German Harold Schumacher, to grant La Albiceleste the World title with six minutes left.

 

  1. Crowning Moment for the Most Beautiful Team; Brazil’s 1970 Champions are regarded as the most beautiful team to ever play the game, and rightly so. Their crowning moment, coming at the Azteca, where they trounced Italy 4-1. They remain the only team to ever win all qualification and World Cup games.

 

  1. Game of the Century: Before Italy fell to Brazil in the 1970 final, they had played an exhaustive 120-minutes in the semi final against West Germany in what is remembered by many as the game of the century. Two goals were scored in a frenetic opening twenty minutes, five goals were scored in extra time, Franz Beckenbauer played on with a broken shoulder, with images of his hand in a sling a surprise to the watching world. Luigi Riva, Gianni Rivera, Gerd Muller, Uwe Seeler and the legendary Sepp Maier all featured in the encounter.

 

 

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