The people of Fortaleza have a passion for the game as well as the city’s two biggest clubs, Ceara and Fortaleza. And it is an attachment that can only grow with the remodelling of the city’s main football stadium, the Castelao.
Built in 1973 and officially known as the Estadio Governador Placido Castelo, the Castelao is home to both teams and has been entirely renovated to host matches at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
As well as having its capacity increased to 58,704, the revamped stadium will boast an underground car park with 1,900 spaces, executive boxes, a VIP area, media centre, mixed zone and fully refurbished dressing rooms. In addition, a new roof now covers all its tiers, including the pitchside ring of seating.
Access to the Castelao has also been upgraded, with the creation of four exclusive bus lanes, an LRV (light rail vehicle) line and two metro stations, making it far easier for fans to reach the stadium and the complex it will form part of, which will house restaurants, cinemas, a hotel and an Olympic centre.
The Castelao is the venue for A Seleção’s second group match at Brazil 2014. The support the home favourites receive is sure to be every bit as fervent as it was when they ran out there for a March 2002 friendly against Yugoslavia, the game that marked Ronaldo’s long-awaited return to action in the build-up to Brazil’s triumph at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.