RIO DE JANEIRO: A state of Pele will adorn the Maracana stadium when redevelopment work has been completed and it is opened in time – just! – for the Confederations Cup writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

A bronze statue of the Atleta do Século – the Athlete of the Century – was commissioned last year, with the player in the goal-celebration stance renowned from pictures of Brazil’s win over Czechoslovakia at the 1970 World Cup.

The sculptor Ique has said the statue will be 1.84m high and weigh 300kilos.

He said: “It’s been an honour to work on someone whose fame will stand the test of time. I was always a Pele fan though I was only eight at the time of the third World Cup win in 1970.

“It’s a great challenge to create a static image of someone or something in action. Hopefully I have been able to give the work a sense of the explosive moment.”

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