A model of the national stadium in Chile, which is best known for the 1962 World Cup final, where Brazil competed with Czechoslovakia.
The national stadium of Chile is well-known especially to those Brazilian and Czechoslovakian fans who are closely acquainted with the history of World Cups. At this stadium, Brazil faced Czechoslovakia in the 1962 World Cup Final. Close to 70,000 fans saw Josef Masopust score the opening goal 15 minutes into the game. However, the goal of the later Ballon d’Or winner was not enough as Brazil tied the game two minutes later and after two second-half goals won 3–1.
At the time of its opening in 1938 in Santiago, the capital of Chile, the national stadium could accommodate 70,000 spectators. The capacity was increased to more than 80,000 at the beginning of the 1960s during a modernization before the 1962 World Cup. Nevertheless, the attendance of 80,000 was not reached at any of the World Cup matches. This number was exceeded in December of the same year when a league match between Universidad de Chile and Universidad Católica was seen by 85,268 spectators set the new attendance record.
As far as the modern history of the stadium is concerned, it was declared a national monument of Chile in 2003. Following the 2008 passing of Julio Martínez Prádanos, a famous Chilean sports commentator specializing in football, the stadium was renamed in his honor and has since been known as Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos.
One year later, the stadium underwent complete modernization, during which old seats were replaced by new ones, resulting in a significantly reduced capacity. The renovation also involved other facilities such as the press center, LED scoreboards, and other technologies. The architects drew inspiration from the Olympic Stadium in Berlin; the two stadiums resemble each other. Similarly to the Olympic Stadium, all stands were planned to be roofed, but this phase of the project was postponed for an indefinite period because of an earthquake.
Apart from the Chile national football team, the stadium is also used by the first league club of Universidad de Chile. In the 1980s, it was also a temporary home ground for Colo-Colo and Universidad Católica. Besides the already mentioned 1962 World Cup, the national stadium hosted the continental championship, i.e. the championship of South America known as Copa América, in 1941, 1945, 1955, 1991, and for the last time so far in 2015.