Brazil's world famous Maracana to be renamed the 'King Pele Stadium'

Pele to be honoured for his 'legacy in Brazilian football'

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Brazil's world famous Maracana stadium is to be renamed after football legend Pele.

Rio de Janeiro legislature voted to change the official title to the Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Rei (king) Pele stadium.

Pele, 80, played at the venue many times for Brazil and scored his 1,000th goal there in 1969 - for Santos against local club Vasco da Gama.

"It is a worthy homage to a man who is recognised the world over for his legacy in Brazilian football and for the corresponding services rendered to our country," the deputy responsible for the project said.

The stadium, host of the final match in the 1950 and 2014 World Cup tournaments, as well as the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics, has long been named after Mario Filho, a journalist who lobbied for its construction in the 1940s.

The legislature said the football stadium will be renamed but the larger sports complex around the ground will retain its current name.

Most Brazilians call it simply the Maracana, after the neighbourhood in which it stands.

The Rio state governor must give the go-ahead to the name change, which was not met with universal acclaim by fans.

Some said that Filho was more worthy of the honour, while others argued that any change should be after someone who was from Rio - unlike Pele, who was born in Minas Gerais state and lived most of his life in the state of Sao Paulo.

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