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Outside the stadium.
Estadio Azteca is a stadium in Mexico City, Mexicomarker. It is the official home stadium of the Mexico national football team and the Mexican team Club América.

Estadio Azteca was the primary venue for association football at the 1968 Summer Olympics and is the only stadium ever to host two FIFA World Cup final matches, in 1970 and 1986. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored both the "Hand of God goal" and the "Goal of the Century". The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Centurymarker", when Italy defeated Germany with scores of 4-3 in extra time. With a capacity of 105,000 (original capacity of 114,600), it is the largest stadium in Mexicomarker and fifth largest in the world.

History

The opening game was between Club América and Torino F.C. on May 26, 1966, with seats for 107,494 spectators. The first goal was scored was by Brazilianmarker Arlindo Dos Santos Cruz and the second one by Brazilian José Alves "Zague"; later, the Italians tied the game, which ended 2-2. Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz made the initial kick and FIFAmarker President Sir Stanley Rous was the witness.

A modern illumination system was inaugurated on June 5, 1966 with the first night game between Valencia C.F. and Necaxa. The first goal of the game was scored by Honduranmarker Jos√© Cardona. In this game Roberto Mart√≠nez o Ca√Īa Brava scored the first goal made by a Mexican. The final score was 3-1 in favor of Valencia C.F..

There is a Commemorative plaque with the names of the first goal scorer in the first daylight match and in the first night game.

Estadio Azteca is also the site in which Pelé, and Diego Maradona (during the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cup), considered by many as the best football players of all time, lifted the trophy for the last time (The Jules Rimet Trophy and the current FIFA World Cup Trophy, respectively).

The stadium has also hosted international club tournaments such at the Copa InterAmericana and the Copa Libertadores de América.

Estadio Azteca has also been used for musical performances throughout its history. Michael Jackson (in 1993), U2 (in 2006), Luis Miguel (in 2002), Elton John, Maná, Juan Gabriel, Gloria Estefan, Jaguares, Lenny Kravitz,*Nsync, Hanson, Ana Gabriel, and The Three Tenors all have become part of the stadium's main spectacle. The stadium has also been used for political events, including Mexican president Felipe Calderón's campaign closure in 2006, as well as religious events, like the appearance of Pope John Paul II in 1999.

Notable events

Spectators outside Estadio Azteca
Estadio Azteca has hosted a variety of international sporting competitions, including:



Access and entrance

It is served by the Azteca station on the Xochimilco Light Rail line. This line is an extension of the Mexico City metro system which begins at Metro Tasque√Īamarker station and ends in the Xochimilco Light Rail Station.

Tickets are available, up to kick-off times, from the ticket office which is located at the front of the stadium, just down the exit ramps from the Azteca station. Tickets start from as little as 150 pesos (15 U.S. Dollars as of 2009). For bigger matches such as Club América's games against Chivas de Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and UNAM Pumas where sellouts are common, numerous touts circulate offering tickets at competitive prices.

Names

The name "Azteca" is a tribute to the Aztec heritage of Mexico City. The stadium has never been the Olympic Stadium. This role in 1968 was for Estadio Ol√≠mpico Universitariomarker. The stadium is now owned by Mexican TV consortium Televisa. In order to avoid people associating the stadium's name with that of its rival TV Azteca, Televisa officially changed the stadium's name to Guillermo Ca√Īedo, a top executive, long-time football advocate at Televisa and prominent member of the executive committee of FIFAmarker. The change took place in 1997, following Ca√Īedo's death on January 20, 1997. However the change did not go well with the general population, who generally refused to refer to the stadium by its formally new name. Following a schism where two of Ca√Īedo's sons, who worked at Televisa, switched camps and went to TV Azteca, Televisa quietly returned the stadium's name to its original version. Some people did not even notice, as they usually referred to the stadium as "Azteca" during the name change.

The stadium has been given the nickname of "Coloso de Santa Ursula" which, in English, means "Colossus of Saint Ursula", due to its large structure. Santa Ursula refers to the part of town where the stadium resides in Mexico City.

Monuments and Memorials

A bronze plaque of Maradona's "Goal of the Century" was placed outside the stadium. In addition, a monument memorializes the "Game of the Centurymarker."

See also



References



Further reading



External links




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