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Maracanã Stadium to be named after Pele

Historic football venue set to be renamed after national icon

March 10, 2021 By Michelle Bonsu
It's only fitting that Brazil are opting to rename the famed Maracanã Stadium after arguably the best Brazilian player of all time.

The Maracanã Stadium. It's a venue that is certainly familiar to Brazilians, but also football fans worldwide due to its having hosted both the 1950 and 2014 World Cup finals as well as the finals of the 1989 and 2019 Copa America competitions, the 2013 Confederations Cup final, and the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Its actual name is the after a journalist who was involved in its construction, but is better known as the Maracanã to most fans outside Brazil.

In addition, the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, the Maracanã also serves as the home base for bitter rivals Flamengo and Fluminense, with clashes between these two big sides a highly-anticipated event. And now, legislators in Rio de Janeiro have decided to make a big change to this famous footballing ground.

After some deliberations, they've decided to change the name of the Rio de Janeiro-based stadium to Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Rei Pele stadium after the 80-year-old legend. Fans outside Brazil may not be aware of what the first part "Edson Arantes do Nascimento" is; it indeed is the official name of the football icon known worldwide as Pele. And the word "Rei" means "king" in Portuguese, a fitting title for one of the best players of all time.

Pele, now 80, was part of the Brazil squad that won three World Cups. He also happened to score his 1,000th career goal at the Maracanã in 1969

Of course, for the name to become the Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Rei Pele stadium, Rio's governor has to sign off on it, but it's hard to imagine the change not going through and for all of us to see Pele's name on one of the legendary football stadiums in the world.

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