The most popular professionally played sport in Rio de Janeiro as well as all over Brazil is without doubt football. This is the sport which gets the most coverage and enjoys the support of huge numbers of fans. It’s no secret that Brazilians love football and they are great at it. Brazil is the only country in the world that has had the national team qualify for every edition of the World Cup since the competition started. The team has also won the World Cup five times and every time it plays in the tournament it is considered among the favorites to win the title. Unfortunately, this year when Brazil hosted the World Cup for the second time the team lost to Germany, who eventually won the title, in the semifinals.
In 2014 as well as back in 1950 when Brazil was the host of the FIFA World Cup the most important matches were played on the Maracanã Stadium which actually opened in 1950 for the World Cup. Located in the state of Rio de Janeiro with the official name of Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, the stadium is part of a complex along with the Maracanãzinho or “Little Maracanã” and since then has been used for matches played by the biggest teams in Rio de Janeiro as well as for other sporting or musical events. The stadium can now accommodate approximately 78,000 people after its renovation that took place from 2010 to 2013. Originally it had a capacity of just a little under 200,000 people making it the biggest stadium that existed in the world at the time. Now it is only the biggest in Brazil and second biggest in South America.
Estádio Olímpico João Havelange is another stadium in Rio de Janeiro with a capacity of almost 47,000 people and is the home field of the Botafogo football club. Botafogo is one of the four biggest teams in Rio de Janeiro next to Fluminese, Flamengo and Vasco da Gama.
Aside from football, surfing, beach volleyball, climbing, tennis, scuba diving and skateboarding are some of the other sports that are also practiced in Rio de Janeiro. However, many of these are not as big as football and are mostly done by amateurs and not in professional competitions. There is a strong sport culture in Brazil, mainly because of the beach culture that is just as strong. When the body is often exposed one feels the need to look his/her best and stay in great shape.
Planning a trip to Rio de Janeiro to catch a football match is not a very easy thing to do. Sure booking a flight to Rio de Janeiro or anywhere else in Brazil is no problem, but you have to know when, so do your homework well before getting on that plane! Football matches are usually played on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays during state leagues which take place in the first couple of months of the year, while the four-tiered national league starts in May or June. If you don’t know what airline you should fly try the Brazilian company TAM Airlines organizing flights to Brazil. It organizes cheap flights to Brazil and all over the world. TAM was founded in the 1960’s and is now one of the biggest companies in South America offering cheap flights to Brazil.
By Alzenir from Pixabay