Maracana, Brazil’s famous and emblematic stadium former largest in the world, is set to be named after Pele, the country’s football legend.
According to ESPN, the Rio de Janeiro state legislature voted on Wednesday, 10 March, to rename the sports facility ”Edson Arantes do Nascimento- Rei Pele stadium’ in honor of the country’s football legend.
Andre Ceciliano, the lawmaker who proposed the name change, said: “King Pele is the best player of all time, it’s a just tribute. Although I have no doubt that everyone will continue to call it the Maracana stadium.”
The renaming of the almost 80,000-capacity stadium is, however, subject to the approval of Claudio Castro, the Rio de Janeiro state governor.
The 80-year-old football legend, who won three World Cups for the South American nation, scored his 1000th goal while playing for Santos against Vasco da Gama in 1969 at the Maracana.
The stadium held the finals of the 1950 and 2014 FIFA world cups. The 2016 Olympic Games’ opening ceremony was also held at the Maracana.
The stadium, which was constructed in the 1940s, was named after Mario Filho, a journalist, while most Brazilians call it the Maracana, due to the neighbourhood in which it is located.
Maracana was opened on 16th June 1950 and renovated thrice in 2000, 2006 and 2013.
The legislature said although the football stadium will be renamed after the football icon, who is regarded as ‘the greatest’, the larger sports complex around the ground could retain its current name.
Patmos Media Line Sports can report that the biggest Stadium in the world is Rungrado in North Korea with expected capacity of 150,000 but once accommodated 190,000.
The second is Camp Nou base of Barcelona Football Club in Spain built in 1957 with capacity for about 99,500 people but accommodated 120,000 during a Barca versus Real Madrid encounter.
Third is Estadio Azteca in Mexico built in 1966 with expected 95.000 crowd but also once hosted 119.853 people.