World Cup and Euro finals, great derbies and many other events – this will soon be only history. Sweden-Brazil friendly today will officially bid farewell to the national stadium that awaits demolition.
Pelé, now 72, was walking around the stadium yesterday, recalling how he won the world Cup here back in 1958. Then a 17-year-old boy he was yet to become a legend, but that win against host nation put Brazil on the football map, as he said during his last trip to Råsunda.
Today Brazil will face Sweden once more, this time in a friendly that is to close the stadium’s history in a symbolic way. Råsunda won’t be demolished just yet, but soon after the season ends in just a few months, making both Sweden and home club AIK move to the newly built Friends Arena, also in Solna, Stockholm’s suburb.
Sweden’s most famous ground dates back to 1910, though in its current form it started growing in 1937, reaching capacity of over 50,000 in 1950’s and 60’s. Known for its endzone stands and office buildings integrated into the structure, it has been sold back in 2009, when the new arena was still in an early stage.
Numerous great games and historical events (like being the first ever stadium to host finals of both male and female World Cups) as well as magical spectacles inside the stands by Swedish supporters – that’s how Råsunda will be remembered. And, as the Brazilian FA declared, it was given a promise to receive artifacts from the venue to keep hold of where they started ruling global football.
Below you can see how the ground was changing over the years: