From Cristiano Ronaldo’s record-setting World Cup goals to Pele’s hat trick of World Cup victories, few countries have produced as many legendary international football (soccer) players as Brazil. Here are the best ways to get your football (or futbol, as it’s known locally) fix in Rio de Janeiro.
Soccer Stadium Tours
Rio’s principal venue is the Maracanã Stadium, the second stadium in the world to host two World Cup finals (in 1950 and 2014), and home to the city’s four biggest teams: Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense, and Vasco. Opt for a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic stadium, where you can peek into the locker rooms and press room, take a seat on the players' benches, and walk up the entry ramp.
Watching a soccer match is a quintessential Rio experience, and there are plenty of opportunities to watch a world-class soccer game. Rio’s soccer season runs from January to May, with local teams competing for the Gunabara's Cup and Rio's Cup, after which the Brazilian Championship games take place from May until December, featuring 20 teams from around the country. Snag tickets for a game and soak up the electric atmosphere at the Maracanã or João Havelange stadiums.