World Cup 2018: Sochi joins world's elite sporting cities

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Sochi's Olympic Stadium

When Sochi hosts Spain against Portugal on 15 June, it will be only the fourth city to complete the hat-trick of hosting a World Cup match, an Olympic Games and an F1 grand prix.

And it will be the first Winter Olympic city to join that group - the others all being summer Games hosts.

Here, with some unashamed nostalgia, we look at the past events hosted by these great sporting cities.

MEXICO CITY

1967 Mexican Grand Prix
The 1960s and 1970s was a great era for Mexico City, with the city first getting a World Championship grand prix in 1963. Here, in 1967, is home favourite Moises Solana in a Lotus. It later broke down and his team-mate Jim Clark won.
Bob Beamon sets the long jump record at Mexico City 1968
In 1968 Mexico City hosted the Olympics. The altitude helped Bob Beamon leap into history - setting a long jump record that would not be beaten until 1991.
Brazil v Italy, 1970 World Cup Final
And then, in 1970, Mexico City also hosted the World Cup final when Brazil beat Italy 4-1. Here, Gerson is about to score Brazil's second. Mexico also hosted the 1986 finals.

BARCELONA

Opening ceremony of the 1982 World Cup
Barcelona's Nou Camp hosted the opening game of the 1982 World Cup - with the final held in Real Madrid's Bernabeu, it was felt the fairest way to split between the two massive Spanish clubs. Belgium beat Argentina 1-0 in that opener.
Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna
The Spanish Grand Prix moved to Barcelona in 1991 and has been there ever since. The first year saw an iconic moment in F1 history, as Nigel Mansell (left) battled wheel-to-wheel with Ayrton Senna.
Linford Christie wins the 1992 Olympic 100m final
And then in 1992, Barcelona hosted the Olympics. Great Britain's Linford Christie was the 100m champion - and loved every second.

RIO DE JANEIRO

1950 World Cup final group round game
Uruguay beat Brazil in their own backyard in 1950 when Rio hosted the deciding match of the tournament to take the trophy - still mourned in Brazil as the Maracanazo, or "Maracana blow". Brazil also hosted the 2014 finals.
Nelson Piquet
Rio's first F1 grand prix was held at the Jacarepagua circuit - later renamed in honour of home hero Nelson Piquet, shown here in 1987, the year he won his third world title. The circuit was later demolished...
Thiago Braz da Silva
...to make way for the Olympic Park for Rio 2016. However, it was across town, at the Olympic Stadium, that pole vaulter Thiago Braz da Silva lit up the Games up for the home fans.

SOCHI

Paula Walker and Rebekah Wilson
Unlike the other three, Sochi is not a widely-known global city. Indeed, it was mostly known as a holiday resort until 2014 - when it staged the Winter Olympics in February...
Lewis Hamilton (left) overtakes Nico Rosberg at the 2014 Russian Grand Prix
...to be followed that October by the first ever Russian Grand Prix. It was a crucial race that season - Lewis Hamilton's overtake of Nico Rosberg showed just who had more desire for the title.
Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
And then in 2018, Sochi completes its sporting hat-trick. And what a way to do it - hosting Spain v Portgual in the World Cup.

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