Search

Hodgson hopes Brazil’s ‘holy grail’ stadium is built in time for England

07:00 29 November 2012

The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro prior to the rebuilding work. Photo credit: Matthew Ashton

The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro prior to the rebuilding work. Photo credit: Matthew Ashton

EMPICS Sport

England manager Roy Hodgson is “desperately hoping” the rebuilding of the Maracana will be completed in time for their friendly with Brazil next June.

The South American side are due to welcome Hodgson’s men next year in their iconic 7/8Rio de Janeiro stadium as part of the celebrations for the Football Association’s 150th anniversary.

However, the Maracana, which is due to host the 2014 World Cup final, is currently undergoing major reconstruction and there are questions whether the building work will be finished by the time England head there.

“It’s almost like a holy grail so I’m desperately hoping they get the pitch ready in time,” Hodgson told BBC1.

“But if they don’t it’s still a great game and I’m still more than happy to play Brazil wherever they want to play us.”

The fixture will provide England with the perfect opportunity to sample the playing conditions ahead of the World Cup should they qualify from Group H, which is not a foregone conclusion.

The Three Lions currently lie second in their group and face a tough trip to leaders Montenegro next year.

“The one thing I can assure all of the England football fans is that the players, there’s nothing they want more (than to qualify),” added Hodgson.

“They’d had have been more than happy to go and play a World Cup on the Galapagos Islands, let alone Brazil.

“I think if we got here then we would believe in ourselves, we would have a good chance.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Thu, 21:04
Paul Stirling, Middlesex

Paul Stirling hit a swashbuckling 90 and James Franklin took five wickets as Middlesex crushed Kent by 115 runs for their first Twenty20 win of the season.

Thu, 17:23
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny

Bob Wilson has backed Wojciech Szczesny to start Saturday’s FA Cup final – and claims he still has “all the talent needed” to be Arsenal’s first choice for many years.

Thu, 12:30
Nick Gubbins, Middlesex. Pic: Matt Bright Photography

After cycling around the Olympic Park Velodrome last winter, Nick Gubbins is focused on a different kind of white-knuckle ride at Middlesex.

Thu, 11:10
Arsenal's Theo Walcott during a training session ahead of the FA Cup Final at London Colney. Should he start up front? Picture: PA/John Walton

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Uche Amako ponders the big questions ahead of the Gunners’ biggest match of the season.

Most read sport

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder