Maracana monument gets stars salivating
© Getty Images

Several teams will this week continue their quest to reach Brazil 2014. There, the ultimate goal is to lift the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy at the Maracana – as Bellini is in the above picture.

The mettlesome centre-back didn’t, of course, lift it in Rio de Janeiro, but at another iconic stadium: the Rasunda in Solna.

So proud Brazilians were that they had finally won the World Cup, however, that soon after Bellini captained them to a 5-2 victory over hosts Sweden in the 1958 Final, clamour begin to erect at statue in its honour at their own football temple. The effigy of the Vasco da Gama player holding aloft the most prestigious prize in football came to fruition in November 1960, and it has since become a symbol of its surroundings.

On 13 July 2014, two skippers will be seen lifting that Trophy at the Maracana – one in stone and one in the flesh. Which delirious player will have the 18-carat gold, Malachite-based one proudly over his head?