24TH NOV 2012... England to Play Brazil at Rio's Maracana Stadium

24 Nov 2012

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England star, Wayne Rooney set to play in Rio next summer


England will play Brazil in a friendly at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium next summer, local officials said.

The fixture will take place on June 2 at the arena which will go on to host both the 2014 World Cup final and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Rio Olympic Games two years later, reports the BBC.

The friendly will be Brazil's first game at the 78,000-capacity Maracana after substantial modernisation work.

Brazil first travel to Wembley for a friendly against England on February 6.

The renovation work at the Rio stadium, expected to be completed by February 28, will expand the roof to cover all of the stands.

News of the friendly at the spiritual home of Brazilian football was confirmed by the Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral.

But the Football Association declined to comment on the information released by Cabral.

The game in Rio will take place just two weeks before the start of the Confederations Cup on June 15, a tournament which is seen as a warm-up for the World Cup two years later.

Back in 1950, an estimated crowd of 200,000 people packed into the old Maracana to see Brazil lose the World Cup final to Uruguay.

England last played there in 1984, when John Barnes's mazy dribble and goal helped England to a famous 2-0 victory.

News of the fixture emerged just hours after Brazil coach Mano Menezes was sacked, two days after winning the Superclasico de las Americas against Argentina on penalties.

A successor is expected to be announced in January.

Tags: Sports, 24TH NOV 2012, England, Brazil, Rio's Maracana Stadium

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