This is Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The picture was taken by yours truly in March 2011, on a rather hazy day from atop Corcovado Mountain. At that time, the stadium was closed for a three-year renovation in preparation for the mother lode of summertime sporting events: the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Those of you who know me well will agree that I’m not a big sports fan. About soccer – “football” or “fútbol” as it’s called everywhere else around the world except in the U.S. – I am particularly uninformed. I have attended just four professional soccer games in my life, and two of those were played when I was barely ten by the no-longer-in-existence Chicago Sting – one at the no-longer-in-existence Old Comiskey Park and the other at the no-longer-in-existence Chicago Stadium – and they hardly qualify as a result.