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Uruguayan Who Spoiled Brazil’s 1950 World Cup Party Gets Ticket

Alcides Ghiggia
Former footballer Alcides Ghiggia of Uruguay touches the FIFA World Cup trophy during its exhibition in Montevideo as part of a world tour ahead of the Brazil 2014 World Cup tournament, on Jan. 16, 2014. Photographer: Miguel Rojo/AFP via Getty Images

Alcides Ghiggia is coming to Brazil’s World Cup party after all.

The 87-year-old ruined Brazil’s event the last time it was held in the country, in 1950, by scoring the winning goal for Uruguay to deny the hosts the Jules Rimet trophy. Ghiggia, the last surviving member of that Uruguayan squad, had been overlooked for a ticket with the opening game of this year’s tournament set for today in Sao Paulo.

FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said Ghiggia and a guest will have tickets for the match, along with other guests of FIFA’s congress, which was held yesterday.

Even though Brazil has since won a record five World Cups, the defeat to Uruguay at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium in front of almost 180,000 fans still hurts. The loss is referred to as the Maracanazo, or the Maracana Blow.

Ghiggia has been used by organizers in events to promote the tournament, including at December’s final draw at a resort in Bahia. He’s also been invited to the past two World Cups, he said.

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