A Brazilian soccer fan is hoping to trade disappointment for delight, even if he can’t go back and change history.
In an exchange with FIFA, 85-year-old Joedir Sancho Belmonte has traded his crumpled up, unused ticket to the 1950 World Cup finals in exchange for three tickets to the 2014 finals.
Belmonte was prepared to attend the match 64 years ago, but was unable to as he was home tending to his sick mother. But he says there’s a plan for everything.
“I hope Brazil will be able to win this time,” Belmonte said. “This is our revenge. I want to go see our revenge.”
In one of the most disappointing moments in Brazilian soccer history, they lost the 1950 finals to Uruguay by a 2-1 score in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium in front of 200,000 packed-in fans. Brazil had dominated the road to the final game, beating Spain and Sweden by a combined 13-2 score in the unique round-robin finals.
“My mother was sick and I thought it would not be sensible on my part to go to a football match,” said Belmonte, a resident of Rio de Janeiro. “So I decided not go, and it was a good decision.”
His mother died a few days later, and Brazil looked to recover their shattered World Cup dreams as well. The country would explode for five titles in the following years, currently the most of any country.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said they would place the ticket in a Zurich museum set to open in 2015.
This year’s final will be July 13 at the Maracana.