Aerial Photo of the First World Cup Final, July 1930

The Estadio Centenario, the stadium that hosted the first FIFA World Cup in 1930.
Photograph of the Estadio Centenario, Uruguay, July 1930.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The Estadio Centenario was built between 1929 and 1930 for the upcoming inaugural World Cup, 13 – 30 July 1930. Not only was it to be the birthplace of one of the largest sporting events in the world, but it also marked the ratification of the Uruguayan constitution 100 years prior. Uruguay became an independent state after the Treaty of Montevideo in 1828. Since then the Estadio Centenario has been listed by FIFA as one of the world’s classic stadiums and the only monument to World Football. 

The stadium was completed in 9 months by immigrant workers, a record time, despite it being delayed resulting in the first matches of the World Cup being played in Pocitos Stadium. The construction cost $1,000,000, the equivalent of $16,425,748.50 in 2021.  The stadium was finally inaugurated on July 18, 1930, with a match between Uruguay and Peru, the former winning 1 – 0. 

Since then, Uruguay has continued to be a force to be reckoned with when playing at home, even the Brazil national football team has only managed three wins out of 20 attempts against Uruguay at home. Two were official matches during the 2010 and 2018 world cup qualifiers and the third was Uruguay’s largest defeat losing 4 – 0 to Brazil in 2009. 

While the stadium is most known for its football, it has also been used for a number of concerts for artists from South American, European, and North American music scenes including Sting, the Rolling Stones, and Guns N’ Roses.


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