Maracanã Stadium

Coordinates: 22°54′44″S 43°13′49″W / 22.91222°S 43.23028°W / -22.91222; -43.23028
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho
Former namesEstádio Municipal (1950–1966)[1]
LocationMaracanã, Rio de Janeiro
Public transitMaracanã Station
SuperVia train services
Metrô Rio line 2
OwnerRio de Janeiro State Government
OperatorCR Flamengo and Fluminense FC
Record attendance199,854–210,000[3] (Uruguay–Brazil, 16 July 1950)
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Broke ground2 July 1948; 75 years ago (1948-07-02)
Opened16 June 1950; 73 years ago (1950-06-16)
Renovated2000, 2006, 2013
ArchitectWaldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Miguel Feldman, Oscar Valdetaro, Pedro Paulo B. Bastos, Orlando Azevedo, Antônio Dias Carneiro
CR Flamengo (1950–present)
Fluminense FC (1950–present)
CR Vasco da Gama (1950–present)
Brazil national football team (selected matches)

Maracanã Stadium (Portuguese: Estádio do Maracanã, Brazilian Portuguese: [esˈtadʒi.u du maɾakɐˈnɐ̃]), officially named Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho (Brazilian Portuguese: [isˈtadʒ(i)u ʒoʁnaˈlistɐ ˈmaɾi.u ˈfiʎu]) or Journalist Mario Filho Stadium, is an association football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The stadium is part of a complex that includes an arena known by the name of Maracanãzinho, which means "The Little Maracanã" in Portuguese. Owned by the Rio de Janeiro state government, the stadium is now managed by the clubs Fluminense and Flamengo. It is located in the Maracanã neighborhood, named after the Rio Maracanã, a now canalized river in Rio de Janeiro.

The stadium was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil was beaten 2–1 by Uruguay in the deciding game, in front of a still standing record attendance of 173,850 spectators, on 16 July 1950.[4] The venue has seen attendances of 150,000 or more at 26 occasions and has seen crowds of more than 100,000 as many as 284 times.[4] But as terraced sections have been replaced with seats over time, and after the renovation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, its original capacity has been reduced to the current 73,139,[2] but it remains the largest stadium in Brazil and the third largest in South America after Estadio Monumental in Argentina and Estadio Monumental in Peru.[5] Fluminense and Flamengo still own the all-time club record attendance, with 194,603 spectators supporting its clubs in the world famous Fla–Flu derby.

The stadium is mainly used for football matches between the major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro, including Fluminense, Flamengo, Botafogo, and Vasco da Gama. It has also hosted a number of concerts and other sporting events. It was the main venue for the 2007 Pan American Games, hosting the football tournament and the opening and closing ceremonies. The Maracanã was partially rebuilt in preparation for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 2014 World Cup, for which it hosted several matches, including the final. It also served as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, with the main track and field events taking place at the Estádio Olímpico. The stadium was also chosen to host the 2020 and 2023 Copa Libertadores finals.


The stadium was named in 1966 in honor of the recently deceased Mário Filho, a Pernambucan sports journalist, the brother of Nelson Rodrigues, who was a strong vocal supporter of the construction of the Maracanã.[6]

The stadium's popular name is derived from the Maracanã River, whose point of origin is in the jungle-covered hills to the west, crossing various bairros (neighborhoods) of Rio's Zona Norte (North Zone), such as Tijuca and São Cristóvão, via a drainage canal which features sloping sides constructed of concrete. Upon flowing into the Canal do Mangue, it empties into Guanabara Bay. The name "Maracanã" derives from the indigenous Tupi–Guarani word for a type of parrot which inhabited the region. The stadium construction was prior to the formation of the later Maracanã neighborhood, that was once part of Tijuca.

The stadium of Red Star Belgrade, the Red Star Stadium, is popularly called Marakana in honor of the Brazilian stadium.

In March 2021, the Rio de Janeiro state legislature voted to change the venue's name to the Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Rei Pele stadium. Edson Arantes do Nascimento was the 82-year-old's full name, while Rei means king in Portuguese. The Rio de Janeiro's state governor must approve the name change before it becomes official.[7]



After winning the right to host the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the Brazilian government sought to build a new stadium for the tournament. The construction of Maracanã was criticized by Carlos Lacerda, then Congressman and political enemy of the mayor of the city, general Ângelo Mendes de Morais, for the expense and for the chosen location of the stadium, arguing that it should be built in the West Zone neighborhood of Jacarepaguá. At the time, a tennis stadium stood in the chosen area. Still it was supported by journalist Mário Filho, and Mendes de Morais was able to move the project forward. The competition for the design and construction was opened by the municipality of Rio de Janeiro in 1947, with the construction contract awarded to engineer Humberto Menescal, and the architectural contract awarded to seven Brazilian architects, Michael Feldman, Waldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Oscar Valdetaro, Orlando Azevedo, Pedro Paulo Bernardes Bastos, and Antônio Dias Carneiro.[8]

The first cornerstone was laid at the site of the stadium on 2 August 1948.[9] With the first World Cup game scheduled to be played on 24 June 1950, this left a little under two years to finish construction. However, work quickly fell behind schedule, prompting FIFA to send Ottorino Barassi, the head of the Italian FA, who had organized the 1934 World Cup, to help in Rio de Janeiro. A workforce of 1,500 constructed the stadium, with an additional 2,000 working in the final months. Despite the stadium having come into use in 1950, the construction was only fully completed in 1965.

Opening and 1950 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Opening game of the Maracanã Stadium, shortly before the 1950 FIFA World Cup.
Postage stamp featuring the Maracanã, commemorating the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

The opening match of the stadium took place on 16 June 1950. Rio de Janeiro All-Stars beat São Paulo All-Stars 3–1; Didi became the player to score the first ever goal at the stadium. While the major part of the stadium was finished, it still looked like a construction site; it lacked toilet facilities and a press box. Brazilian officials claimed it could seat over 200,000 people, while the Guinness Book of World Records estimated it could seat 180,000 and other sources pegged capacity at 155,000. What is beyond dispute is that Maracanã overtook Hampden Park as the largest stadium in the world.[10] Despite the stadium's unfinished state, FIFA allowed matches to be played at the venue, and on 24 June 1950, the first World Cup match took place, with 81,000 spectators in attendance.

In that first match for which Maracanã had been built, Brazil beat Mexico with a final score 4–0, with Ademir becoming the first scorer of a competitive goal at the stadium with his 30th-minute strike. Ademir had two goals in total, plus one each from Baltasar and Jair. The match was refereed by Englishman George Reader. Five of Brazil's six games at the tournament were played at Maracanã (the exception being their 2–2 draw with Switzerland in São Paulo). Eventually, Brazil progressed to the final round, facing Uruguay in the match (part of a round-robin final phase) that turned out to be the tournament-deciding match on 16 July 1950. Brazil only needed a draw to finish as champion, but Uruguay won the game 2–1, shocking and silencing the massive crowd. This defeat on home soil instantly became a significant event in Brazilian history, being known popularly as the Maracanazo (roughly translated as "The Maracanã Smash"). The official attendance of the final game was 199,854, with the actual attendance estimated to be about 210,000.[3][11] In any case, it was the largest crowd ever to see a football game—a record that is highly unlikely to be threatened in an era when most international matches are played in all-seater stadiums. At the time of the World Cup, the stadium was mostly grandstands with no individual seats.

Stadium completion and post-World Cup years[edit]

Original configuration of the Maracanã from 1950 to 2010, featuring a two-tier bowl and solid-color seating. (left: Exterior view, 2009. right: interior view looking towards the southern end, 2007.)

Since the World Cup in 1950, Maracanã Stadium has mainly been used for club games involving four major football clubs in RioVasco, Botafogo, Flamengo and Fluminense. The stadium has also hosted numerous domestic football cup finals, most notably the Copa do Brasil and the Campeonato Carioca. On 21 March 1954, a new official attendance record was set in the game between Brazil and Paraguay, after 183,513 spectators entered the stadium with a ticket and 194,603 (177,656 p.) in Fla-Flu (1963). In 1963, stadium authorities replaced the square goal posts with round ones, but it was still two years before the stadium would be fully completed. In 1965, 17 years after construction began, the stadium was finally finished. In September 1966, upon the death of Mário Rodrigues Filho, the Brazilian journalist, columnist, sports figure, and prominent campaigner who was largely responsible for the stadium originally being built, the administrators of the stadium renamed the stadium after him: Estádio Jornalista Mário Rodrigues Filho. However, the nickname of Maracanã has continued to be used as the common referent. In 1969, Pelé scored the 1,000th goal of his career at Maracanã, against CR Vasco da Gama in front of 65,157 spectators.[12]

In 1989, the stadium hosted the games of the final round of the Copa America; in the same year, Zico scored his final goal for Flamengo at the Maracanã, taking his goal tally at the stadium to 333, a record that still stood as of 2021. An upper stand in the stadium collapsed on 19 July 1992, in the second game of the finals of 1992 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, between Botafogo and Flamengo, leading to the death of three spectators and injuring 50 others.[13] Following the disaster, the stadium's capacity was greatly reduced as it was converted to an all-seater stadium in the late 1990s. Meanwhile, the ground was classified as a national landmark in 1998, meaning that it could not be demolished.[citation needed] The stadium hosted the first ever FIFA Club World Cup final match between CR Vasco da Gama and Corinthians Paulista, which Corinthians won on penalties.

21st century, renovations and 2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Panorama from inside the stadium during the closing ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Following its 50th anniversary in 2000, the stadium underwent renovations which would increase its full capacity to around 103,000. After years of planning and nine months of closure between 2005 and 2006, the stadium was reopened in January 2007 with an all-seated capacity of 87,000.

For the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, a major reconstruction project was initiated in 2010. The original seating bowl, with a two-tier configuration, was demolished, giving way to a new one-tier seating bowl.[14] The original stadium's roof in concrete was removed and replaced with a fiberglass tensioned membrane coated with polytetra-fluoroethylene. The new roof covers 95% of the seats inside the stadium, unlike the former design, where protection was only afforded to some seats in the upper ring and the bleachers above the gate access of each sector. The old boxes, which were installed at a level above the stands for the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship, were dismantled in the reconstruction process. The new seats are colored yellow, blue and white, which combined with the green of the match field, form the Brazilian national colors. In addition, the grayish tone has returned as the main façade color of the stadium.

On 30 May 2013, a friendly game between Brazil and England scheduled for 2 June was called off by a local judge because of safety concerns related to the stadium. The government of Rio de Janeiro appealed the decision[15] and the game went ahead as originally planned, the final score being a 2–2 draw.[15] This match marked the reopening of the new Maracanã.[14]

On 12 June 2014, the 2014 FIFA World Cup opened with Brazil defeating Croatia, 3–1, but that match was held in São Paulo. The first game of the World Cup to be held in Maracanã was a 2–1 victory by Argentina over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday, 15 June 2014. Host Brazil ended up never playing a match in the Maracanã during the tournament, as they failed to reach the final after being eliminated in the semi-finals 7–1 by Germany.[16]

Disrepair after the 2016 Summer Olympics[edit]

Aerial photograph of Maracanã's playing field in February 2017

The stadium lay dormant in the months after the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, with photos surfacing in early 2017 of a dried-up playing field covered in brown spots and missing turf, ripped-out seats, and damage to windows and doors. A debt of R$3 million (US$939,937) to the local energy company led to power being shut off at Maracanã. At the heart of the issue was a legal wrangling between the stadium's owner, operator, and the organizing committee for the Rio Olympics over responsibility for maintaining the grounds. Maracanã SA, the operator, charges that the Olympic committee did not return the venue in an acceptable condition, while the committee says the things that they needed to fix should not keep Maracanã from operating.[17]

Within six months of the Olympics, daily tours of the stadium were halted due to vandalism at the stadium and violent robberies in the area. Items of value were looted from the stadium including fire extinguishers, televisions, and a bronze bust of journalist Mário Filho, for whom the stadium was named.[18][19]

The Maracanã Stadium during a Clássico dos Gigantes between Fluminense and Vasco da Gama in May 2023

New managers[edit]

On 5 April 2017, the French group Lagardère signed an agreement to administer the Maracanã. In total, Lagardère will invest more than R$500 million by the end of the concession, won by Odebrecht in 2013 and valid until 2048. The Folha de São Paulo newspaper informed that the group estimates that it will need to spend about R$15 million on emergency repairs to the stadium. In 2013, the former managers of Odebrecht together with AEG and IMX, a company owned by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, won the bid to manage the stadium for 35 years. The company was associated with Brazilian building company OAS and the Amsterdam Arena. At the time, Lagardère was in second place in the bidding.[20]

Non-football events[edit]

The famous vale tudo match between Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura and Brazilian jiu-jitsu player Hélio Gracie was held at the Maracanã on 23 October 1951. At the time many in Brazil felt that Gracie was unbeatable in martial arts, and that Kimura would not be welcomed back to Japan if he lost the bout. Kimura won via technical submission after breaking Gracie's arm with a gyaku-ude-garami hold, which has since become known as a Kimura lock in BJJ and mixed martial arts.

International sports competitions[edit]

A scene from the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games
The "Pindorama" segment during the 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony



Tournament results[edit]

1950 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
24 June 1950 15:00  Brazil 4–0  Mexico Group 1 82,000
25 June 1950 15:00  England 2–0  Chile Group 2 30,000
29 June 1950 15:00  Spain 16,000
1 July 1950 15:00  Brazil 2–0  Yugoslavia Group 1 142,000
2 July 1950 15:00  Spain 1–0  England Group 2 75,000
9 July 1950 15:00  Brazil 7–1  Sweden Final Round 139,000
13 July 1950 15:00 6–1  Spain Final Round 153,000
16 July 1950 15:00  Uruguay 2–1  Brazil Final Round 199,854

1989 Copa América[edit]

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
12 July 1989  Uruguay 3–0  Paraguay Final Round 100,135
 Brazil 2–0  Argentina
14 July 1989  Uruguay 2–0  Argentina Final Round 53,909
 Brazil 3–0  Paraguay
16 July 1989  Argentina 0–0  Paraguay Final Round 148,068
 Brazil 1–0  Uruguay

2013 FIFA Confederations Cup[edit]

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
16 June 2013 16:00  Mexico 1–2  Italy Group A 73,123
20 June 2013 16:00  Spain 10–0  Tahiti Group B 71,806
30 June 2013 19:00  Brazil 3–0  Spain Final 73,531

2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
15 June 2014 19:00  Argentina 2–1  Bosnia and Herzegovina Group F 74,393
18 June 2014 16:00  Spain 0–2  Chile Group B 74,101
22 June 2014 13:00  Belgium 1–0  Russia Group H 73,819
25 June 2014 17:00  Ecuador 0–0  France Group E 73,750
28 June 2014 17:00  Colombia 2–0  Uruguay Round of 16 73,804
4 July 2014 13:00  France 0–1  Germany Quarter-finals 73,965
13 July 2014 16:00  Germany 1–0 (a.e.t.)  Argentina Final 74,738

2016 Summer Olympics[edit]

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
16 August 2016 13:00  Brazil 0–0 (a.e.t.)
(3–4 pen.)
 Sweden Women's Semifinals 70,454
17 August 2016 13:00  Brazil 6–0  Honduras Men's Semifinals 52,457
19 August 2016 17:30  Sweden 1–2  Germany Women's Gold Medal Match 52,432
20 August 2016 17:30  Brazil 1–1 (a.e.t.)
(5–4 pen.)
 Germany Men's Gold Medal Match 63,707

2019 Copa América[edit]

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
16 June 2019 16:00  Paraguay 2–2  Qatar Group B 19,196
18 June 2019 18:30  Bolivia 1–3  Peru Group A 26,346
24 June 2019 20:00  Chile 0–1  Uruguay Group C 57,442
28 June 2019 16:00  Venezuela 0–2  Argentina Quarter-finals 50,094
7 July 2019 17:00  Brazil 3–1  Peru Final 69,968

2021 Copa América[edit]

On 10 July 2021, the stadium hosted the final of the 2021 Copa América, for the second consecutive time.

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
10 July 2021 21:00  Argentina 1–0  Brazil Final 7,800

Further reading[edit]

  • Gaffney, Christopher Thomas. Temples of the Earthbound Gods: Stadiums in the Cultural Landscape of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-292-72165-4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho referred to as Maracanã". Archived from the original on 15 June 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b The Brazilian Bid for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2027 (PDF). FIFA. 8 December 2023. Retrieved 2 January 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Futebol; the Brazilian way of life". Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Futebol Brasileiro 1950–1999 Best Attendances". Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Maracanã fica mais moderno sem abrir mão de sua história" (in Portuguese). Estado de S. Paulo. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  6. ^ Polêmica: deputados aprovam mudança de nome do Maracanã para Rei Pelé Archived 10 March 2021 at the Wayback Machine – Cleo Guimarães, Veja Rio, 10 March 2021
  7. ^ "Maracana stadium to be named after Pele". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 10 March 2021. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  8. ^ "El fútbol vuelve al histórico Maracanã tras nueve meses de espera". El País (in Spanish). 22 January 2006. Archived from the original on 9 January 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  9. ^ "Soccer Hall: 1950 FIFA World Cup". Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  10. ^ " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world". 28 November 2005. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  11. ^ " Maracanã, the largest stadium of the world (part 2)". 28 November 2005. p. 2. Archived from the original on 13 March 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  12. ^ [Book Almanaque do Santos]
  13. ^ "Sports Disasters". Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  14. ^ a b says, Wojciech (10 November 2017). "Maracana – Rio de Janeiro – The Stadium Guide". Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Brazil v England suspended over Maracanã safety concerns". BBC Sport. 30 May 2013. Archived from the original on 30 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  16. ^ Fitzgerald, Daniel. "15 Biggest Stories of the 2014 FIFA World Cup". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  17. ^ Flora Charner; Shasta Darlington (February 2017). "How the Maracana became a 'ghost' stadium". CNN. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  18. ^ Flora Charner and Shasta Darlington. "How the Maracanã became a 'ghost' stadium". CNN. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  19. ^ sport, Guardian (9 February 2017). "Rio Olympic venues already falling into a state of disrepair". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 March 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Grupo francês acerta compra da gestão do Maracanã – 05/04/2017 – Esporte – Folha de S.Paulo". Archived from the original on 9 March 2021. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  21. ^ "95000 fans at volleyball match ::". 16 February 2010. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019 – via
  22. ^ a b "A record 180,000 turn out for Tina". Chicago Sun-Times. 18 January 1988. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  23. ^ Russell, Alan (1 October 1986). Guinness Book of World Records 1987. Sterling. Retrieved 15 December 2017 – via Internet Archive. Frank Sinatra 175,000 guinness.
  24. ^ "Arts and Media/Music Feats & Facts/Solo Rock Show Crowd". 25 May 2006. Archived from the original on 25 May 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Maracanã Stadium". Archived from the original on 21 December 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Encontro com as Famílias, Viagem Apostólica do Papa João Paulo II ao Rio de Janeiro, outubro de 1997 | João Paulo II". Archived from the original on 28 December 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  27. ^ "PHOTOS: Billy Graham in Rio". Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2023.

External links[edit]

22°54′44″S 43°13′49″W / 22.91222°S 43.23028°W / -22.91222; -43.23028

Events and tenants
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Opening venue

Succeeded by
4 venues (Wankdorf Stadium, Charmilles Stadium
Hardturm, Stade olympique de la Pontaise)
used for the 1954 FIFA World Cup,
matches on the first day were
all played at the same time
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Final venue
(This match was the tournament-deciding game of a round-robin phase)

Succeeded by
Preceded by Copa América
Final round matches

Succeeded by
Preceded by
first stadium
FIFA Club World Championship
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by Pan American Games
Opening and closing ceremonies venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA Confederations Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by FIFA World Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by Summer Olympics
Opening and closing ceremonies venue (Olympic Stadium)

Succeeded by
Preceded by Summer Olympics
Men's football gold medal match venue

Succeeded by
International Stadium Yokohama
Preceded by
Wembley Stadium
Summer Olympics
Women's football gold medal match venue

Succeeded by
Japan National Stadium
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Summer Paralympics
Opening and closing ceremonies venue

Succeeded by
Japan National Stadium
Preceded by Copa América
Final venue

2019, 2021
Succeeded by