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Football in Brazil - national passion

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soccer Brazil former Maracana rb0076.jpg
Soccer fans at former Maracana stadium, before major reconstruction for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil - Flamengo team supporters. The Estádio do Maracanã (English: Maracanã Stadium,officially Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho is an open-air stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  It was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, The original capacity was around 200,000 spectators, being the world's largest stadium by capacity, when it was inaugurated. The stadium currently seats 78,838 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Brazil and in South America. For the 2014 World Cup, a major reconstruction project was accomplished. The original seating bowl, with a two-tier configuration, was demolished, giving way to a new one-tier seating bowl. The new seats are colored yellow, blue and white forming along with the green of the match field, the Brazilian national colors. In addition, the grayish tone returns as the main façade color of the stadium. The original stadium's roof in concrete was demolished and substituted with a fiberglass tensioned membrane coated with Teflon. The new roof will cover 95% of the seats inside the stadium, unlike the former design, where protection was given to some seats in the upper ring and also from the seats of the bleachers above the gate access of each sector.