One of the world's largest stadiums, Maracanã was built for IV World Cup of Football that happened in Rio in 1950. Brazil unfortunately lost to Uruguay that year, but today it's the only nation in the world to hold 5 titles.
Soccer is the national sport in Brazil, and the stadium is often filled to capacity with more than 90,000 people when there is a major match, and the official record is of 183,341 spectators in 1969. This is where Pelé made his 1,000th goal.
Maracanã is also used for mega-shows every now and then, and artists like Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones have already performed here. Next door to it are Maracanãzinho, a smaller bowl with a capacity of 20,000 and the Olympic Stadium Célio de Barros, often used for international competitions.
You are welcome to watch a match if you come during the season. The best way to make sure you get a good seat is making the arrangements through a travel agency or the concierge of your hotel. In addition to well-located seats the package includes round-trip transportation. As the stadium is in a popular area, away from the South Side, you do may prefer not to go on your own (see safety).
Selection of soccer webclips at Maracana Stadium by www.ipanema.com