My name is Journalist Mário Filho Stadium, but here in Rio de Janeiro we don't usually call our friends by the full name. We rather use nicknames. That's why people call me Maracanã - because of the Maracanã River, that is right in front of me. And, for the closer ones, I'm just Maraca.
I didn't have to wait just nine months to be born. They started to build me in August 2nd 1948 and my opening was in June 16th 1950. Now I'm an oldie with 67 years old, 2 World Cups (1950 and 2014), Pan-American Games (2007), Olympic and Paralympic Games (2016), and many other unforgettable moments.
Of course, through this years, I had a couple of nips and tucks, to keep looking this good. From 1999 to 2000, they gave me chairs. From 2005 to 2007, I had to adapt to the PanAm Games. And in the biggest of them all, from 2010 to 2013, I became a FIFA standard stadium. Ready for the World Cup and the Olympics. And now here I am - more beautiful and modern than ever, but with the same soul and spirit. Ready for some more.
I have always been a big stadium, but I was built just for the 1950 World Cup. Later on, though, I became an icon. I grew up to be just another football stage, but then became it's temple. Here, every game is a final match. Any concert is a huge show. People that have never seen each other before become friends and scream together. And it makes me feel so good to know that my history is also the Brazilians' history.
This is why I wanna remember some of my most precious moments with you. I've got this timeline and would love to know if some of those moments meant something to you or to someone you care about. And, of course, I hope that remembering, or getting to know, these stories, you feel as good as I do. Because, as one of the many legends that have been here, Roberto Carlos, the king of Brazilian music, says: “There are so many emotions, man”.