As the dust settles on a thrilling and goal-laden group phase at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, fans from the host nation and all over the globe are currently anxiously awaiting the start of the knockout stages - with the hunt for tickets and all kinds of souvenirs gathering pace. And one would imagine the most coveted ticket of all could only be that for the Final on 13 July.
Well, let us tell you the story of 85-year-old Joedir Belmont, who hails from Conceicao de Macabu in Rio de Janeiro state. Until this Friday 27 June, Belmont was the proud holder of a ticket for none other than Brazil versus Uruguay from the 1950 FIFA World Cup. That’s right, the historic Maracanazo: the deciding game of the first FIFA World Cup held on Brazilian soil, in which the visiting Celeste snatched the Trophy from the hosts’ grasp.
In a remarkable gesture, Belmont agreed to hand over the footballing relic on Friday in Rio to FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, with his donation set to go on display in the museum planned by football’s world governing body. And though he “wasn’t able to go to that  game, for several reasons”, Belmont’s generosity has earned him a second opportunity to attend the match which will decide the world crown – in the shape of Final tickets for him and two of his children.
“A few months ago we received a letter from a Brazilian man who said he might be one of the only people to still have a match ticket from 1950. He knew that we were going to open a football museum,” recalled Valcke. “We said that we’d love to have it. And now, in return, we’ve given him tickets for this FIFA World Cup.”
Belmont, of course, readily accepted and, having missed out on attending A Seleção’s painful 2-1 reverse at the hands of Los Charrúas 64 years ago, is now aiming for a different scenario all round this year. “I’m hoping to get to see the match this time," he told FIFA.com, "and for Brazil to be crowned champions!”