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Maracanã, Maracanã

Rua Profesor Eurico Rabelo
Rio de Janeiro
view web site ›'s insider take:

While Catholicism is the official religion in Brazil, futebol is a very close second. Brazilians follow their national, city, and local teams with avidity, and even tourists will soon be asked whom they root for. The two big rivals in Rio are Flamengo—the working class's team—and Vasco, often favored by the elite. Maracanã, the largest soccer stadium in the world, plays host to Flamengo's home game. An enormous open-air ovum that erupts with frenetic energy on game day, American sport has no equivalent. Fans wave enormous flags half the size of a football field, pound samba drums, shout chants, throw things, and party in the seats. A must, even if you care nothing for soccer. (More than one gringo has been converted this way.) Tickets can be bought before the game at the stadium, or ask your concierge. It's a ways from Zona Sul, so take a taxi for the round-trip.

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