View of the Maracana Stadium illuminated in the Brazilian national flag's colors, a week before the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 5, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA)
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Today's Brazil is a completely different country from the one that last hosted the World Cup in 1950 but some things have hardly changed even after 64 years.This year's tournament will be held across 12 cities in June and July and will cost at least 28 billion reais ($12.32 billion), almost a third of which will go on luxurious new or modernized stadiums. The 1950 matches were played at just six grounds, including the Maracana, which was built in less than two years at a cost of 430 million reais in today's money, said Diego Salgado, co-author of the book, "1950: The Price of a World Cup".Brazil had not yet won football's greatest trophy in 1950 but has since established itself as the dominant power, winning the World Cup a record five times.Football was already a religion in Brazil and the average attendance for the 22 games was 47,511, still more than at all but seven of the 19 World Cups.There were more than 800 qualifying matches for 2014, compared to just 27 for the 1950 Cup.
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