There is one thing that basically all the world knows about Brazil: It is the country of football. And to carry this title, it is only fair to have an impressive football temple. For us, Brazilians, the symbol of this amazing sport, is the Maracanã Stadium, located in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Officially named "Jornalista Mário Filho" stadium, the Maracanã was inaugurated in 1950, under the authority of the mayor of the Federal District of Rio de Janeiro (back in that time, Rio was the Capital of Brazil), Marshal Ângelo Mendes de Moraes. The reason for building such a big stadium was the Football World Cup, which that year got celebrated in Brazil for the first time. In 2010 the stadium started to be refurbished to meet FIFA's requirements for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, making Rio de Janeiro the host.
Precisely, in the final game of this World Cup, Maracanã established the world record of people attending a football game. According to FIFA, almost 200.000 people went to Maracanã on July 16th, to see Brazil losing from Uruguay (2 - 1). The total audience was 199.854 people- it was the largest crowd ever to attend a football match! If you are a big fan of football and remember the tragic 7-1 between Brazil and Germany in 2014, you may get a vague idea of how sad it was, seeing Brazil lose in the 1950 World Cup. Even today, older people say that this was a sad day for Brazil- it was common to see people crying in the streets!
Besides sad things, Maracanã also hosts happy and incredible events - like the thousandth goal in Pelé's career (the game between Vasco 1 - 2 Santos, on November 19th, 1969) and also the farewell game of the King of Football with the national team on July 18th, 1971 (Brazil 2 - 2 Yugoslavia). The stadium also hosted concerts like the one of Frank Sinatra, in 1980, with an audience of over 170.000 people. This one was the first-ever mega-concert held in the stadium. We could remember as well the concert of KISS, in 1983, with over 250.000 people and Paul McCartney's, in 1990, with an audience of over 184.000.
To get to Maracanã stadium using the subway, just get off at the Marcanã station, cross the catwalk towards the stadium, and then look for the ticket office at gate 1. This is where tickets for the tour or a single visit to the stadium are sold. If you go by car, you can park over there with a cost of 35 reais (or so 8 euros).
You can buy the tickets at the Stadium, or you can also purchase online. The ticket price depends on the type of tour you will choose. For a guided tour, the full ticket costs 65 reais (or so 15 euros) and 32,50 reais for students, children between 6 to 10 years and elderly over 60 years old. The non-guided tour is 55,00 and 27,50 reais. Keep in mind that the visiting hours to Maracanã are daily from 9:00 to 17:00, and the visit duration in the field and the other stadium facilities lasts about 1 hour.
It is not without a reason that people call Rio de Janeiro, "the Wonder City." You should not miss out on the rest of the tourist attractions, like the Christ - one of the modern Wonders in the World -, or the Cablecar at Pão de Açucar, or even the Copacabana Beach, one of the most famous beach in the Wolrd. Everything in Rio de Janeiro is big, well-known, and brilliant. So, if you go there and enjoy football, Maracanã Stadium should definitely be a must-visit on your agenda. I hope you enjoy it!!!
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