Maracana grand gesture in Pele´s memory revealed by Rio mayor

    The road around Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous Maracanã Stadium will be renamed after Pelé, Mayor Eduardo Paez said.

    Paez said the road, known as Avenida Radial Oeste – West Radial Avenue, will be called Avenida Pele and said this would be officially confirmed by the city on Wednesday.

    However, this has led to speculation that the renaming did not go far enough and that the road should instead be named Avenida Rei Pele – King Pele Avenue.

    Páez didn’t mind, asking his 691,000 followers, “What do you think?”

    He set up a poll on Twitter. After 13,200 votes in the current poll, about 89.6% of voters preferred it to be called Avenida Rei Pele.

    The news that the road would be renamed came on the day Pelé was due to be buried in Santos, the municipality of São Paulo, where the three-time World Cup winner spent his club career.

    Pele’s death at the age of 82 was announced by his family last Thursday.

    Maracana is Brazil’s most iconic stadium, hosting the 1950 and 2014 World Cup finals, as well as the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games.

    Its official name is Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho, named after the journalist who campaigned for its construction in the 1940s.

    In March 2021, it was widely reported that the Maracanã would be renamed the Edson Arantes do Nascimento – Rey Pelé Stadium with Pelé’s full name.

    However, this change did not materialize as the proposal was vetoed a month later by the then acting governor of Rio, Claudio Castro.

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