Mexico City's fabled Estadio Azteca has been the backdrop for some of history's most unforgettable FIFA World Cup ™ moments. Pele's last sparks of invention on the world stage, a final glimpse of the old Jules Rimet Cup and Maradona's famous goals against England in 1986 all took place on the lush grass of the vintage North American gem. Known simply as the Azteca, it is one of the beautiful game's truly great gathering places - and the only one to host two FIFA World Cup Final matches.

Teetering 7,200 feet above sea level, the stadium has earned a reputation for Mexico's national team as a fortress of results. In fact, Mexico only saw their FIFA World Cup ™ qualifying unbeaten streak in the stadium end in 2001 when they lost 2-1 to Costa Rica.

The bowl's signature roof traps and amplifies noise from the massive upper level, filling the air with high pitch shrieks and a deafening, cacophonous din to make the Mexico City landmark, and home to domestic giants Club America, one of the loudest stadiums anywhere. Add to that its more notorious conditions, namely altitude and smog, and you have the most inhospitable of venues for visiting teams.

The perfect football stadium lines up the legends
Built in 1966 ahead of the Olympic Games in 1968 and 1970 FIFA World Cup, the cavernous, three-tiered bowl was designed to hold almost 115,000 fans. An over-the-top undertaking for the time, the Azteca is a vivid demonstration of Mexico's mad devotion to the people's game.

The full construction took nearly four years to complete. Architects Pedro Ramirez Vasquez and Rafael Mijares travelled the globe before breaking ground to catch glimpses of the finest football stadiums of the time. Trips to Buenos Aires, Madrid, Rome, Florence, Paris, London, Moscow and Warsaw provided the duo with the inspiration they needed to design what many consider to be a faultless football stadium.

In addition to being an impregnable fortress for the Mexican national team, the Azteca has witnessed some of the most electrifying and immortal FIFA World Cup moments of the last 40 years. Pele said his goodbye to the international game with a peerless performance in the 1970 Final against Italy, inspiring what many call the greatest team of all time to a masterful 4-1 victory over an Italian side infamous for their cohesive defence.

The man many consider the greatest footballer in history scored a perfect low-and-hard header in the 18th minute from Rivelino's swerving cross. Leaving Albertosi with no chance, the celebration that followed involved Pele leaping into Jairzinho's arms and has since become one of the most recognisable snapshots in football history. After a 4-1 result, the Seleção, playing a languid, sultry brand of football never to be seen again, passed the Jules Rimet Cup around the brilliant Azteca grass for what would turn out to be the last time in 24 years.

Italy had a magic moment of their own en route to the ill-fated final. After finishing 90 minutes against West Germany even at one apiece, the semi-final's extra time period will go down in the annals of history as one of the most magnificent half hours of football ever played for a mass audience. A double from 'der Bomber' Gerd Muller and goals from Tarcisio Burgnich, Luigi Riva and Gianni Rivera saw a desperate attacking session fuelled by fatigue and the Azteca's extreme altitude.

Maradona's Mundial
Of all the moments of drama played out on the Azteca's manicured stage down through the years, Maradona's magic act of Mexico 86 stares down all comers. After surviving a massive earthquake one year earlier, the stadium barely withstood the earth-shattering orchestrations of El Diego.

Soon after the Azteca witnessed Manuel Negrete slam a scintillating side-bicycle against Bulgaria home to put El Tri in the quarter-finals, the towering ground got its first glimpse of Argentine genius Diego Armando Maradona at the quarter-final stage. When the Albiceleste locked horns with bitter old enemies England it was to prove a famous day in the folklore of the FIFA World Cup as both sides of the fractured star were on display for the shrieking Azteca to savour.

In the 51st minute, Maradona turned villain in the eyes of purists and moralists everywhere. Pouncing on the end of a horrid looping back pass from Steve Hodge, the diminutive genius rose to head over veteran goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Though the English captain and keeper was getting on in years, the possibility of him being out-leaped by the diminutive Maradona seemed unbelievable - and indeed it was. Replays proved what the England bench had suspected all along: Maradona had punched the ball into the net.

In a post-match press conference, the No10 cheekily attributed the goal to divine intervention, labelling it El Mano de Dios, or the Hand of God.

His second goal of the match settled the score at 2-1 and was voted the Goal of the Century by FIFA.com users in 2002. It will forever be immortalised by a statue of the No10 that stands outside the stadium.

Three minutes after punching home his first, in a moment of profound atonement and irresistible guile, Maradona collected the ball near midfield, spun like a top and began to race at a nervous English defence. Leaving six opponents behind him on a long sprint, Maradona rounded the wrong-footed Shilton to toe-poke home at the last possible moment.

The defiant Argentine heroics did not end there either. The semi-final against Belgium saw the skipper score two more. The first a delicate, almost dainty flick, and the second another defiant dribble through a terrified backline. And, as if there were any doubt, his telepathic through ball to Jose Burruchaga in the Final confirmed Maradona's reputation as the greatest player of the day - and of his generation.

Following the final whistle the Azteca crowd spilled on to the pitch to pay homage to football's gods. As Pele had been in 1970, Maradona was left shirtless and embraced by thousands high in the Mountains that surround Mexico City.

Hosted matches

FIFA WC 1934 Prel. Comp.

04 Mar 1934
04 Mar 1934
Match
First stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
04Mar
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Cuba
CubaCUB
Full-time
FT
3-2
11 Mar 1934
11 Mar 1934
Match
First stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
11Mar
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Cuba
CubaCUB
Full-time
FT
5-0

Olympic Football Tournament Mexico City 1968

13 Oct 1968 - 12:00 Local time
13 Oct 1968
Match 1
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
13Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Full-time
FT
1-0
14 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
14 Oct 1968
Match 5
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group B
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
14Oct
Spain
SpainESP
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
1-0
15 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
15 Oct 1968
Match 9
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
15Oct
France
FranceFRA
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Full-time
FT
4-1
16 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
16 Oct 1968
Match 13
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group B
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
16Oct
Spain
SpainESP
Nigeria
NigeriaNGA
Full-time
FT
3-0
17 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
17 Oct 1968
Match 17
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
17Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Guinea
GuineaGUI
Full-time
FT
4-0
18 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
18 Oct 1968
Match 21
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group B
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
18Oct
Spain
SpainESP
Japan
JapanJPN
Full-time
FT
0-0
20 Oct 1968 - 12:00 Local time
20 Oct 1968
Match 25
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Quarter-finals
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
20Oct
Japan
JapanJPN
France
FranceFRA
Full-time
FT
3-1
22 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
22 Oct 1968
Match 29
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Semi-finals
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
22Oct
Hungary
HungaryHUN
Japan
JapanJPN
Full-time
FT
5-0
24 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
24 Oct 1968
Match 31
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Bronze medal match
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
24Oct
Japan
JapanJPN
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Full-time
FT
2-0
26 Oct 1968 - 15:30 Local time
26 Oct 1968
Match 32
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Gold medal match
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
26Oct
Bulgaria
BulgariaBUL
Hungary
HungaryHUN
Full-time
FT
1-4

FIFA WC 1970 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF

27 Jun 1969
27 Jun 1969
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
27Jun
Honduras
HondurasHON
El Salvador
El SalvadorSLV
Full-time
FT
2-3
El Salvador win after extra time
AET

1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico ™

FIFA WC 1978 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF

09 Oct 1977
09 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
09Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Haiti
HaitiHAI
Full-time
FT
4-1
12 Oct 1977
12 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
12Oct
Canada
CanadaCAN
Suriname
SurinameSUR
Full-time
FT
2-1
12 Oct 1977
12 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
12Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
El Salvador
El SalvadorSLV
Full-time
FT
3-1
16 Oct 1977
16 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
16Oct
Canada
CanadaCAN
Guatemala
GuatemalaGUA
Full-time
FT
2-1
16 Oct 1977
16 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
16Oct
El Salvador
El SalvadorSLV
Haiti
HaitiHAI
Full-time
FT
0-1
19 Oct 1977
19 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
19Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Guatemala
GuatemalaGUA
Full-time
FT
2-1
23 Oct 1977
23 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
23Oct
Guatemala
GuatemalaGUA
El Salvador
El SalvadorSLV
Full-time
FT
2-2
23 Oct 1977
23 Oct 1977
Match
Second stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
23Oct
Haiti
HaitiHAI
Suriname
SurinameSUR
Full-time
FT
1-0

FIFA WC 1982 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF

09 Nov 1980
09 Nov 1980
Match
Northern Zone
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
09Nov
Mexico
MexicoMEX
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
5-1
16 Nov 1980
16 Nov 1980
Match
Northern Zone
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
16Nov
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Canada
CanadaCAN
Full-time
FT
1-1

FIFA World Youth Championship Mexico 1983

04 Jun 1983 - 12:00 Local time
04 Jun 1983
Match 5
FIFA U-20 World Cup Final
Group C
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
04Jun
China PR
China PRCHN
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Full-time
FT
0-5
05 Jun 1983 - 12:00 Local time
05 Jun 1983
Match 9
FIFA U-20 World Cup Final
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
05Jun
Korea Republic
Korea RepublicKOR
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Full-time
FT
2-1
11 Jun 1983 - 12:00 Local time
11 Jun 1983
Match 25
FIFA U-20 World Cup Final
Quarter-finals
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
11Jun
Scotland
ScotlandSCO
Poland
PolandPOL
Full-time
FT
0-1
15 Jun 1983 - 17:00 Local time
15 Jun 1983
Match 29
FIFA U-20 World Cup Final
Semi-finals
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
15Jun
Poland
PolandPOL
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Full-time
FT
0-1
19 Jun 1983 - 12:00 Local time
19 Jun 1983
Match 32
FIFA U-20 World Cup Final
Final
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
19Jun
Argentina
ArgentinaARG
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
0-1

1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico ™

FIFA WC 1994 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF

11 Apr 1993
11 Apr 1993
Match
Final stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
11Apr
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Honduras
HondurasHON
Full-time
FT
3-0
18 Apr 1993
18 Apr 1993
Match
Final stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
18Apr
Mexico
MexicoMEX
El Salvador
El SalvadorSLV
Full-time
FT
3-1
25 Apr 1993
25 Apr 1993
Match
Final stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
25Apr
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Canada
CanadaCAN
Full-time
FT
4-0

FIFA WC 1998 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF

16 Oct 1996 - 01:00 Local time
16 Oct 1996
Match 456
Group 3
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
16Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Jamaica
JamaicaJAM
Full-time
FT
2-1
30 Oct 1996 - 01:00 Local time
30 Oct 1996
Match 459
Group 3
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
30Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
St. Vincent / Grenadines
St. Vincent / GrenadinesVIN
Full-time
FT
5-1
06 Nov 1996 - 01:00 Local time
06 Nov 1996
Match 465
Group 3
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
06Nov
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Honduras
HondurasHON
Full-time
FT
3-1
02 Mar 1997
02 Mar 1997
Match 107
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
02Mar
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Canada
CanadaCAN
Full-time
FT
4-0
13 Apr 1997
13 Apr 1997
Match 113
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
13Apr
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Jamaica
JamaicaJAM
Full-time
FT
6-0
05 Oct 1997
05 Oct 1997
Match 22
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
05Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
El Salvador
El SalvadorSLV
Full-time
FT
5-0
02 Nov 1997
02 Nov 1997
Match 24
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
02Nov
Mexico
MexicoMEX
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
0-0
09 Nov 1997 - 01:00 Local time
09 Nov 1997
Match 27
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
09Nov
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Costa Rica
Costa RicaCRC
Full-time
FT
3-3

FIFA Confederations Cup Mexico 1999

25 Jul 1999 - 12:00 Local time
25 Jul 1999
Match 3
FIFA Confederations Cup
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
25Jul
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Egypt
EgyptEGY
Full-time
FT
2-2
25 Jul 1999 - 14:30 Local time
25 Jul 1999
Match 4
FIFA Confederations Cup
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
25Jul
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Saudi Arabia
Saudi ArabiaKSA
Full-time
FT
5-1
27 Jul 1999 - 18:00 Local time
27 Jul 1999
Match 5
FIFA Confederations Cup
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
27Jul
Saudi Arabia
Saudi ArabiaKSA
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Full-time
FT
0-0
27 Jul 1999 - 20:30 Local time
27 Jul 1999
Match 6
FIFA Confederations Cup
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
27Jul
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Egypt
EgyptEGY
Full-time
FT
2-2
29 Jul 1999 - 18:00 Local time
29 Jul 1999
Match 9
FIFA Confederations Cup
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
29Jul
Egypt
EgyptEGY
Saudi Arabia
Saudi ArabiaKSA
Full-time
FT
1-5
29 Jul 1999 - 20:30 Local time
29 Jul 1999
Match 10
FIFA Confederations Cup
Group A
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
29Jul
Bolivia
BoliviaBOL
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Full-time
FT
0-1
01 Aug 1999 - 12:00 Local time
01 Aug 1999
Match 13
FIFA Confederations Cup
Semi-finals
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
01Aug
Mexico
MexicoMEX
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
1-0
Mexico win after extra time
AET
04 Aug 1999 - 21:00 Local time
04 Aug 1999
Match 16
FIFA Confederations Cup
Final
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
04Aug
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
4-3

FIFA WC 2002 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF

15 Aug 2000 - 14:00 Local time
15 Aug 2000
Match
Group 1
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
15Aug
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Canada
CanadaCAN
Full-time
FT
2-0
03 Sep 2000 - 12:00 Local time
03 Sep 2000
Match
Group 1
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
03Sep
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Panama
PanamaPAN
Full-time
FT
7-1
08 Oct 2000 - 12:00 Local time
08 Oct 2000
Match
Group 1
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
08Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and TobagoTRI
Full-time
FT
7-0
25 Mar 2001 - 12:00 Local time
25 Mar 2001
Match
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
25Mar
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Jamaica
JamaicaJAM
Full-time
FT
4-0
16 Jun 2001 - 12:00 Local time
16 Jun 2001
Match
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
16Jun
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Costa Rica
Costa RicaCRC
Full-time
FT
1-2
01 Jul 2001 - 12:00 Local time
01 Jul 2001
Match
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
01Jul
Mexico
MexicoMEX
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
1-0
05 Sep 2001 - 12:00 Local time
05 Sep 2001
Match
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
05Sep
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and TobagoTRI
Full-time
FT
3-0
11 Nov 2001 - 12:00 Local time
11 Nov 2001
Match
Final round
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
11Nov
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Honduras
HondurasHON
Full-time
FT
3-0

FIFA WWC 2003 Prel. Comp. Play-off AFC/CONCACAF

05 Jul 2003 - 12:00 Local time
05 Jul 2003
Match 1
FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifier
fifa.round109
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
05Jul
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Japan
JapanJPN
Full-time
FT
2-2

FIFA WC 2006 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF Zone

27 Mar 2005 - 12:07 Local time
27 Mar 2005
Match 0
Third stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
27Mar
Mexico
MexicoMEX
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
2-1
17 Aug 2005 - 21:00 Local time
17 Aug 2005
Match 0
Third stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
17Aug
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Costa Rica
Costa RicaCRC
Full-time
FT
2-0
07 Sep 2005 - 21:00 Local time
07 Sep 2005
Match 0
Third stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
07Sep
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Panama
PanamaPAN
Full-time
FT
5-0

FIFA WC 2010 Prel. Comp. North Central America and Caribeans Zone

20 Aug 2008 - 20:00 Local time
20 Aug 2008
Match 0
Group 2
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
20Aug
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Honduras
HondurasHON
Full-time
FT
2-1
06 Sep 2008 - 17:00 Local time
06 Sep 2008
Match 0
Group 2
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
06Sep
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Jamaica
JamaicaJAM
Full-time
FT
3-0
28 Mar 2009 - 17:00 Local time
28 Mar 2009
Match 0
Fourth stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
28Mar
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Costa Rica
Costa RicaCRC
Full-time
FT
2-0
10 Jun 2009 - 20:30 Local time
10 Jun 2009
Match 0
Fourth stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
10Jun
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and TobagoTRI
Full-time
FT
2-1
12 Aug 2009 - 15:00 Local time
12 Aug 2009
Match 0
Fourth stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
12Aug
Mexico
MexicoMEX
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
2-1
09 Sep 2009 - 20:00 Local time
09 Sep 2009
Match 0
Fourth stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
09Sep
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Honduras
HondurasHON
Full-time
FT
1-0
10 Oct 2009 - 17:00 Local time
10 Oct 2009
Match 0
Fourth stage
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
10Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
El Salvador
El SalvadorSLV
Full-time
FT
4-1

FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011

10 Jul 2011 - 15:00 Local time
10 Jul 2011
Match 51
FIFA U-17 World Cup Final
Match for third place
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
10Jul
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Germany
GermanyGER
Full-time
FT
3-4
10 Jul 2011 - 18:00 Local time
10 Jul 2011
Match 52
FIFA U-17 World Cup Final
Final
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
10Jul
Uruguay
UruguayURU
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Full-time
FT
0-2

FIFA WC 2014 Prel. Comp. CONCACAF Zone

08 Jun 2012 - 19:00 Local time
08 Jun 2012
Match 0
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
Group B
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
08Jun
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Guyana
GuyanaGUY
Full-time
FT
3-1
11 Sep 2012 - 20:00 Local time
11 Sep 2012
Match 0
Group B
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
11Sep
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Costa Rica
Costa RicaCRC
Full-time
FT
1-0
06 Feb 2013 - 20:30 Local time
06 Feb 2013
Match 0
Round 4
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
06Feb
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Jamaica
JamaicaJAM
Full-time
FT
0-0
26 Mar 2013 - 20:30 Local time
26 Mar 2013
Match 0
Round 4
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
26Mar
Mexico
MexicoMEX
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
0-0
11 Jun 2013 - 19:00 Local time
11 Jun 2013
Match 0
Round 4
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
11Jun
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Costa Rica
Costa RicaCRC
Full-time
FT
0-0
06 Sep 2013 - 20:30 Local time
06 Sep 2013
Match 0
Round 4
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
06Sep
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Honduras
HondurasHON
Full-time
FT
1-2
11 Oct 2013 - 20:30 Local time
11 Oct 2013
Match 0
Round 4
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
11Oct
Mexico
MexicoMEX
Panama
PanamaPAN
Full-time
FT
2-1

FIFA WC 2014 Prel. Comp. Play-off CONCACAF/Oceania

13 Nov 2013 - 14:30 Local time
13 Nov 2013
Match 0
Play-off
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
13Nov
Mexico
MexicoMEX
New Zealand
New ZealandNZL
Full-time
FT
5-1