Montevideo's Estadio Centenario stands at a profound crossroads of past and present on the face of planet football. A monument to South America's steadfast love for the game, the concrete colossus with a capacity of 100,000 was the main stage on which the drama of the inaugural FIFA World Cup ™ unfolded - introducing the world to the irrefutable notion of football as the one truly global game.

Built to host the first FIFA World Cup as well as mark the 100th anniversary of Uruguayan independence, the Centenario stands to this day as an indelible and unmistakable landmark of football and national identity. Despite taking place at the precipice of the 20th century's most debilitating economic crisis, 13 nations took a chance on the tournament and the Centenario hosted each of them at least once. The no-frills bowl was home to ten of the 18 matches, including all three knockout contests, earning its place in history as a "temple of football," so called by Jules Rimet himself.

A capital affair
The ambitious construction project of the Centenario began on 21 July 1929, but the capital largely lacked the requisite infrastructure and economic safety net to host an event of the magnitude envisioned by President Rimet. Nonetheless, local construction crews worked tirelessly to make sure the stadium would be ready on time.

Different work sections were contracted out to various construction companies with responsibility for the supply of water and electricity being handled by the local community. Under the supervision of architect Juan Antonio Scasso, three shifts were organised in order so that construction went on 24 hours a day.

The momentous efforts paid off by the time of Uruguay's FIFA World Cup ™ opener against Peru on 18 July - a match the hosts duly won 1-0, five days after the tournament had kicked off elsewhere in Montevideo.

Though the Centenario is considered the main host for the 1930 finals, there were two other venues also in the capital - the relatively tiny Pocitos and Parque Central. The first FIFA World Cup match - France's 4-1 reverse of Mexico - took place in front of just 1,000 spectators at Pocitos on 13 July. But importantly for Uruguayans, all five matches of the Celeste's games en route to collecting the first FIFA World Cup trophy came in the Centenario.

The final match saw the hosts roar back from a goal behind at half-time to upset neighbours and contentious foes Argentina 4-2, and become the first global champions of what, by that point, could be called the world's growing game. Uruguayan captain Jose Nazassi was the first player to hold aloft the 'Victoire aux Ailes d'Or' trophy, which was later renamed the Jules Rimet Cup. Celebrations went on for days in Montevideo, as the global era of football arrived with a domestic triumph. The game of football would never be the same.

An echo of the past
Even three quarters of a century later, with the Centenario approaching its own centennial, the stadium remains the home base and often impregnable fortress for the Uruguayan national team. The Charruas have rarely lost while in the stadium's warm embrace, and even the very best in world football have trouble standing up to the proud tradition in the Montevideo shrine. Even the mighty Brazil have recorded just two official victories there in 20 attempts.

Uruguay's Copa America record at the Centenario is as near to perfect as any football fan can dream. The nation has hosted the South American championship on seven separate occasions, but only four times since the construction of El Centenario in 1930. And in all four, they went undefeated at the talismanic old ground and took the continental laurels on each occasion.

Montevideo's fierce club footballing rivals Penarol and Nacional have played countless derbies there and both call the artefact home. With very few modern amenities, the stadium stands today very nearly the way it was built to mark the first-ever FIFA World Cup finals. And to gaze upon the open, sprawling bowl and its proud tower climbing high into the sky, one is transported back to an era of button-down jerseys, long shorts and clunky boots - a time of innocence and broad invention.

Hosted matches

1930 FIFA World Cup Uruguay ™

FIFA WC 1958 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

30 Jun 1957
30 Jun 1957
Match
Group 3
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
30Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
1-0
28 Jul 1957
28 Jul 1957
Match
Group 3
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
28Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Paraguay
ParaguayPAR
Full-time
FT
2-0

FIFA WC 1962 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

30 Jul 1961
30 Jul 1961
Match
Group 2
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
30Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
2-1

FIFA WC 1966 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

23 May 1965
23 May 1965
Match
Group 1
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
23May
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
5-0
13 Jun 1965
13 Jun 1965
Match
Group 1
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
13Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
2-1

FIFA WC 1970 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

20 Jul 1969
20 Jul 1969
Match
Group 3
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
20Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
1-0
10 Aug 1969
10 Aug 1969
Match
Group 3
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
10Aug
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Chile
ChileCHI
Full-time
FT
2-0

FIFA WC 1974 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

05 Jul 1973
05 Jul 1973
Match
Group 1
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
05Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
0-1
08 Jul 1973
08 Jul 1973
Match
Group 1
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
08Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
4-0

FIFA WC 1978 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

17 Mar 1977
17 Mar 1977
Match
Group 2
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
17Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
2-0
27 Mar 1977
27 Mar 1977
Match
Group 2
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
27Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
2-2

FIFA WC 1982 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

09 Aug 1981
09 Aug 1981
Match
Group 2
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
09Aug
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
3-2
23 Aug 1981
23 Aug 1981
Match
Group 2
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
23Aug
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
1-2

FIFA WC 1986 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

10 Mar 1985
10 Mar 1985
Match
Group 2
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
10Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
2-1
07 Apr 1985
07 Apr 1985
Match
Group 2
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
07Apr
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Chile
ChileCHI
Full-time
FT
2-1

FIFA WC 1990 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

17 Sep 1989
17 Sep 1989
Match
Group 1
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
17Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
2-0
24 Sep 1989
24 Sep 1989
Match
Group 1
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
24Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
2-0

FIFA WC 1994 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

01 Aug 1993
01 Aug 1993
Match
Group B
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
01Aug
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
0-0
15 Aug 1993
15 Aug 1993
Match
Group B
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
15Aug
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
1-1
29 Aug 1993
29 Aug 1993
Match
Group B
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
29Aug
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
4-0
12 Sep 1993
12 Sep 1993
Match
Group B
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
12Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
2-1

FIFA WC 1998 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

02 Jun 1996 - 01:00 Local time
02 Jun 1996
Match 269
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
02Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Paraguay
ParaguayPAR
Full-time
FT
0-2
08 Oct 1996 - 01:00 Local time
08 Oct 1996
Match 280
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
08Oct
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
1-0
15 Dec 1996 - 01:00 Local time
15 Dec 1996
Match 289
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
15Dec
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
2-0
12 Jan 1997 - 01:00 Local time
12 Jan 1997
Match 125
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
12Jan
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Full-time
FT
0-0
02 Apr 1997 - 01:00 Local time
02 Apr 1997
Match 133
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
02Apr
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
3-1
08 Jun 1997 - 01:00 Local time
08 Jun 1997
Match 141
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
08Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
1-1
20 Aug 1997 - 01:00 Local time
20 Aug 1997
Match 59
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
20Aug
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Chile
ChileCHI
Full-time
FT
1-0

FIFA WC 2002 Prel. Comp. CONMEBOL

29 Mar 2000 - 19:30 Local time
29 Mar 2000
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
29Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
1-0
03 Jun 2000 - 17:00 Local time
03 Jun 2000
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
03Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Chile
ChileCHI
Full-time
FT
2-1
18 Jul 2000 - 19:30 Local time
18 Jul 2000
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
18Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
3-1
26 Jul 2000 - 19:30 Local time
26 Jul 2000
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
26Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
0-0
03 Sep 2000 - 15:00 Local time
03 Sep 2000
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
03Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
4-0
28 Mar 2001 - 19:30 Local time
28 Mar 2001
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
28Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Paraguay
ParaguayPAR
Full-time
FT
0-1
01 Jul 2001 - 16:00 Local time
01 Jul 2001
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
01Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
1-0
07 Oct 2001 - 16:00 Local time
07 Oct 2001
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
07Oct
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
1-1
14 Nov 2001 - 20:40 Local time
14 Nov 2001
Match
Qualifying Tournament
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
14Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Full-time
FT
1-1

FIFA WC 2002 Prel. Comp. Play-off CONMEBOL/OFC

25 Nov 2001 - 16:00 Local time
25 Nov 2001
Match
Play-off
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
25Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Australia
AustraliaAUS
Full-time
FT
3-0

FIFA WC 2006 Prel. Comp. South American Zone

07 Sep 2003 - 16:00 Local time
07 Sep 2003
Match
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
07Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
5-0
15 Nov 2003 - 15:00 Local time
15 Nov 2003
Match
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
15Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Chile
ChileCHI
Full-time
FT
2-1
31 Mar 2004 - 19:40 Local time
31 Mar 2004
Match
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
31Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
0-3
01 Jun 2004 - 21:40 Local time
01 Jun 2004
Match
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
01Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
1-3
05 Sep 2004 - 15:15 Local time
05 Sep 2004
Match
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
05Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
1-0
17 Nov 2004 - 20:45 Local time
17 Nov 2004
Match
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
17Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Paraguay
ParaguayPAR
Full-time
FT
1-0
30 Mar 2005 - 21:30 Local time
30 Mar 2005
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
30Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
1-1
04 Sep 2005 - 18:20 Local time
04 Sep 2005
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
04Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
3-2
12 Oct 2005 - 22:30 Local time
12 Oct 2005
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
12Oct
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Full-time
FT
1-0

FIFA WC 2006 Prel. Comp. Play-off South America/Oceania

12 Nov 2005 - 18:00 Local time
12 Nov 2005
Match 0
Play-off
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
12Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Australia
AustraliaAUS
Full-time
FT
1-0

FIFA WC 2010 Prel. Comp. South American Zone

13 Oct 2007 - 16:30 Local time
13 Oct 2007
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
13Oct
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
5-0
18 Nov 2007 - 17:00 Local time
18 Nov 2007
Match 0
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
18Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Chile
ChileCHI
Full-time
FT
2-2
14 Jun 2008 - 16:00 Local time
14 Jun 2008
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
14Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
1-1
17 Jun 2008 - 19:00 Local time
17 Jun 2008
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
17Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
6-0
10 Sep 2008 - 17:40 Local time
10 Sep 2008
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
10Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
0-0
28 Mar 2009 - 17:00 Local time
28 Mar 2009
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
28Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Paraguay
ParaguayPAR
Full-time
FT
2-0
06 Jun 2009 - 16:00 Local time
06 Jun 2009
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
06Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
0-4
09 Sep 2009 - 18:00 Local time
09 Sep 2009
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
09Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
3-1
14 Oct 2009 - 20:00 Local time
14 Oct 2009
Match 0
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
14Oct
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Full-time
FT
0-1

FIFA WC 2010 Prel. Comp. Play-off CONCACAF/South America

18 Nov 2009 - 21:00 Local time
18 Nov 2009
Match 0
Play-off
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
18Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Costa Rica
Costa RicaCRC
Full-time
FT
1-1
Win on aggregate after regular time (2 - 1)
Win on agg.

FIFA WC 2014 Prel. Comp. South American Zone

07 Oct 2011 - 17:00 Local time
07 Oct 2011
Match 0
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
07Oct
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
4-2
11 Nov 2011 - 20:00 Local time
11 Nov 2011
Match 0
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
11Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Chile
ChileCHI
Full-time
FT
4-0
02 Jun 2012 - 15:00 Local time
02 Jun 2012
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
02Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Venezuela
VenezuelaVEN
Full-time
FT
1-1
10 Jun 2012 - 15:30 Local time
10 Jun 2012
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
10Jun
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Peru
PeruPER
Full-time
FT
4-2
11 Sep 2012 - 18:30 Local time
11 Sep 2012
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
11Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Ecuador
EcuadorECU
Full-time
FT
1-1
22 Mar 2013 - 19:00 Local time
22 Mar 2013
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
22Mar
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Paraguay
ParaguayPAR
Full-time
FT
1-1
10 Sep 2013 - 19:00 Local time
10 Sep 2013
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
10Sep
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
2-0
15 Oct 2013 - 21:30 Local time
15 Oct 2013
Match 0
League round
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
15Oct
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Full-time
FT
3-2

FIFA WC 2014 Prel. Comp. Play-off South America/Asia

20 Nov 2013 - 21:00 Local time
20 Nov 2013
Match 0
Estadio Centenario
Montevideo
20Nov
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Jordan
JordanJOR
Full-time
FT
0-0
Win on aggregate after regular time (5 - 0)
Win on agg.