Founded: December 12, 1987
Population: 2.4 million (5.2 on wider geographical area)
Altitude: 852 m
State: Minas Gerais
Belo Horizonte is the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, the second in Brazil in terms of population and the fourth largest territory. Colonists created it in the 16th century in search of gold and diamonds in this area (Minas Gerais means general mines in Portuguese language). Today there are a small number of profitable mines in this area, so the production of coffee has become the most productive economic activity. In addition to the indigenous population is composed of Italians, Germans, Arabs and Africans. Belo Horizonte lies on several hills completely surrounded by mountains, abundant greenery, as well as a large number of parks covered with forests. The climate is tropical, June is the coldest month, and January is the warmest. This is the first city that had planned street network. Infrastructural problems have increased with the increase of population, and the city was not planned to accommodate so many people, so because of overcrowding Belo Horizonte is considered one of the greatest small cities in the world. With almost two and a half million people it is the sixth largest city in the country, and along with the wider areas it has more than five million. Although they have one of the oldest subway in Brazil, there are even about 880,000 cars in the city. Belo Horizonte is the center of many cultural events, known for its hospitality and football passion.
Also See: Sao Paulo – City of Sport
The city has three professional clubs – Atletico Mineiro, Cruzeiro and America. Atletico Mineiro is the oldest (it was founded in 1908), and in 106 years of existence the club was champion of the state 42 times, and also won the title in a championship of Brazil (1971). On the international scene, Atletico Mineiro won the Copa CONMEBOL twice (1992, 1997), as well as the Copa Libertadores last year, mainly due to the fact that Ronaldinho has played in this club. Cruzeiro is established in 1921 an it is the only Brazilian club from the federal state that has won the championship of Brazil (1933, 2003, 2013), Copa do Brasil (1993, 1996, 2000, 2003) and the state championship (36 times), winning also two titles in the Copa Libertadores (1976, 1997). Cruzeiro is famous for being Ronaldo played for the club in the early nineties. Group of young men who played football for fun founded a football club named America in 1912, and this club is competing in a low class leagues. The club is best known for being the Brazilian striker Fred began his playing career in it.
Also See: Natal – the safest city in Brazil
Mineirao Stadium (officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto) was built in 1965 as the biggest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, and as the second largest stadium in Brazil, after the famous Maracana. For security reasons, FIFA required reduction in the capacity of the stadium in 2004, so the Mineiro Stadium has 72,000 seats today. The stadium will host six matches of this year’s World Cup:
Colombia – Greece, June 14
Belgium – Algeria, June 17
Argentina – Iran, June 21
Costa Rica – England, June 24
Round of 16 June 28
Semi-finals, July 8