Pele opens first football museum in Sao Paulo

October 1st, 2008 - 1:46 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 1 (ANI): The best Brazilian footballer of all time, Edison Arantes do Nasimento Pele, has opened the first football museum in Sao Paulo, where exhibits from Brazils abundant history will be newest tourist attraction.

The Museu do Futebol, inaugurated by Pele in a special ceremony on Monday night, is located in a stadium in Sao Paulo rather than at the ground considered the games spiritual home, the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

The first theme exhibition at the museum was dedicated to Pele called The Marks of the King and the time coincides with the 50th anniversary of the World Championship in Sweden, where Pele won the first championship title with Brazil.

Rio officials smarted when they lost out to the Pacaembu, a beautiful art deco stadium used mostly by Corinthians, and they were still piqued at Mondays preview, The Telegraph reported.

The rivalry between the two cities is keen as both vie to host matches in the 2014 World Cup. Brazil is still to decide which cities will host games but the Maracana is tipped as venue for the final and the Morumbi, Sao Paulos biggest ground, is expected to host the opening match.

The World Cup is at the centre of the museums exhibits, with one room devoted to photo and video exhibits of World Cup years and another hosting huge digital panels featuring Brazils greatest stars.

The highlight, however, is the shirt Pele wore during the 1970 World Cup final, a game frequently cited as the greatest ever played. Brazil beat Italy 4-1 to take an unprecedented third title.

Pele had given his shirt to manager Mario Zagallo at half time and never seen it since.

I didnt think hed look after it this long, Pele said, before adding: There are lots of great museums in the world, the Louvre, Madam Tussauds, but no museum dedicated to football. I think people will be very surprised when they come here. Its very exciting.”

The museum cost more than 10 million pound and is expected to draw 600,000 visitors a year. (ANI)

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