Hodgson hopes Brazil’s ‘holy grail’ stadium is built in time for England

07:00 29 November 2012

The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro prior to the rebuilding work. Photo credit: Matthew Ashton

The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro prior to the rebuilding work. Photo credit: Matthew Ashton

EMPICS Sport

England manager Roy Hodgson is “desperately hoping” the rebuilding of the Maracana will be completed in time for their friendly with Brazil next June.

The South American side are due to welcome Hodgson’s men next year in their iconic 7/8Rio de Janeiro stadium as part of the celebrations for the Football Association’s 150th anniversary.

However, the Maracana, which is due to host the 2014 World Cup final, is currently undergoing major reconstruction and there are questions whether the building work will be finished by the time England head there.

“It’s almost like a holy grail so I’m desperately hoping they get the pitch ready in time,” Hodgson told BBC1.

“But if they don’t it’s still a great game and I’m still more than happy to play Brazil wherever they want to play us.”

The fixture will provide England with the perfect opportunity to sample the playing conditions ahead of the World Cup should they qualify from Group H, which is not a foregone conclusion.

The Three Lions currently lie second in their group and face a tough trip to leaders Montenegro next year.

“The one thing I can assure all of the England football fans is that the players, there’s nothing they want more (than to qualify),” added Hodgson.

“They’d had have been more than happy to go and play a World Cup on the Galapagos Islands, let alone Brazil.

“I think if we got here then we would believe in ourselves, we would have a good chance.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest football news

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Geoffrey Kondogbia of Monaco against Arsenal  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

There have been plenty of rumours and transfer news from across Europe today and London24 Sport has been right on top of it all. Here is our quick summary for your journey home.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea in action (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says his relationship with Ruben Loftus-Cheek has taken “one step back” after the midfielder’s poor display against Sydney FC.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Burnley's Danny Ings celebrates (Lynne Cameron/PA Wire)

Tottenham and Liverpool have received a boost in their pursuit of Danny Ings as Real Sociedad have admitted it is “unlikely” they will sign the striker.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Alex Song of West Ham (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Alex Song posted a photo of his return to the Barcelona training ground, with Lionel Messi and Neymar, yesterday as West Ham look elsewhere for a summer signing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Romelu Lukaku of Everton (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku admits he still supports Chelsea even though he was offloaded by the club last summer.

Don't Miss...

What is this?

Near You Now

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

Read more
The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more