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In what is both a unique and very kind gesture toward a group of guys who restored the so-called “Temple of Football” to the Brazilian people, the city of Rio de Janeiro has decided to invite the construction workers who rebuilt Maracana stadium to also play its first soccer match.
The workers will get to play in a “test game” for the stadium on April 27. The game will feature the workers playing alongside some of the country’s soccer greats from the past, according to Yahoo Sports. The game will be closed to just workers and their families.
Maracana is one of the world’s most iconic soccer stadiums and its restoration means a great deal to the people of Brazil who take great pride in their national pastime. Maracana will host the World Cup final next year and matches to be played in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
“It is our way of saying thank you to the workers,” Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of State for Sport Andre Lazaroni said at the Soccerex European business forum.