Brazil’s Maracana stadium under consideration to be named after football legend Pele
- The name of the stadium would be changed to ‘Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Rei Pele’
- Maracana is named after the neighbourhood the stadium falls in
- The stadium has played host to two FIFA World Cup finals
Pele, one of football’s greatest players, will be adding another feather to his already illustrious cap, as Rio de Janeiro state legislators voted on Tuesday to rename the famous Maracana stadium in Rio after him. The votes were registered to change the Maracana stadium’s name to ‘Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Rei Pele’, the full name of the world football icon, as well as ‘King Pele’, his nickname in the country, AFP reported.
The bill will now proceed to the state’s interim governor Claudio Castro, who would have a 15-day window to take a decision on whether to enact the bill into a law.
Pele is a legendary figure in the country’s football history, who so far has been the only player to win three consecutive world cups (1958, 1962 and 1970).
Currently, the stadium, which is also a renowned landmark in the city, is named ‘Journalista Mario Filho’, after a Brazilian journalist who is associated with giving football the near-religious status it enjoys in Brazil presently.
Among the country’s residents, however, the stadium is known predominantly as Maracana, named after the neighbourhood the complex falls in.
It is the home ground for both Fluminese as well as Flamengo, who right now are the reigning champions of the country’s domestic league.
The noted landmark has seen its share of historic moments, as it played host to two FIFA World Cup finals, in 1950 and 2014, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of 2016 Rio Olympics.