Anyone wandering into Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium in its current state could be forgiven for thinking that the iconic venue was a thing of the past. Fortunately that is not the case, with the arena that hosted the final match of the 1950 FIFA World Cup™ undergoing a comprehensive overhaul to ensure it is a significantly more modern and comfortable venue in time to welcome another FIFA World Cup, 64 years later.

Undoubtedly among the best-known stadiums in world football, the Maracana has held over 150,000 spectators on many occasions and was once the biggest stadium in the world. Little by little, however, its capacity has been reduced for the safety and comfort of visiting fans, and is now in the midst of its greatest transformation to date, ahead of Brazil 2014.

The process of knocking down the stadium’s lower tier has been virtually completed by the companies responsible for the renovation work, with work on the upper tier having already begun. The current state of proceedings is the reason why tonnes of concrete and twisted iron are strewn around every corner of the stadium.

In accordance to the schedule unveiled by the Rio de Janeiro government, the work on the Maracana should be completed by early 2013. And the project is progressing in a satisfactory manner, according to a periodic technical analysis carried out by the stadia department of the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup.