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Natal _ it means Christmas _ hosts 4 matches

April 11, 2014

NATAL, Brazil (AP) — Estadio das Dunas in Natal will hold 42,000 spectators for four World Cup matches at this year’s tournament.

The name comes from the sand dunes that are among the most impressive natural attractions in the northeastern region. The stadium’s curving structure is meant to copy the look of the dunes.

The city was founded on Dec. 25 late in the 16th century. That is where the name Natal, which means “Christmas” in Portuguese, comes from. The city is famous for its sunny, tropical climate.

Natal is located on the extreme eastern edge of the country, about as close to Africa or Europe as you can get in Brazil. The location prompted the United States to use it as an airbase during World War II to support troops in north Africa.

Natal is scheduled to host four games, starting with Mexico vs. Cameroon on June 13. That will be followed by Ghana vs. United States on June 16, Japan vs. Greece on June 19, and Italy vs. Uruguay on June 24.

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