England train at new Maracana Stadium to evoke memories for Roy Hodgson and Frank Lampard
By Nicholas Veevers in Rio
England enjoyed their first experience of the new Maracana Stadium in Rio on Saturday evening when they had a training session ahead of their game with Brazil on Sunday.
Roy Hodgson's Three Lions become the first team to play at the Maracana since its redevelopment and it's also the first time that England have played in Brazil since 1984.
They won 2-0 on that occasion, with John Barnes netting one of the most memorable England goals in history so Hodgson's men will be looking to produce a similar result to end their season.
And running out at what is one of football's most iconic stadiums is something which the squad have been looking forward to since touching down in South America on Thursday.
With Brazil hosting the World Cup in 2014, it's an opportunity for the players to sample the South American atmosphere and some of the world's most passionate football fans, should England hopefully qualify for next summer's tournament.
Over 70,000 fans are expected inside the Maracana on Sunday for what is a momentous occasion in this football-mad nation and Hodgson says it's a great honour to be in charge of the opponents before recalling his own memories of the old venue.
He said: "We're looking forward to going to the Maracana and being the first team to play there.
"That's a great honour and a great privilege and something which I think will combat some of the fatigue that you might expect a group of English players to feel at this stage of their season.
"I saw a game there in 1986 or 1987 between Flamengo and Fluminense, so that was my first experience of the Maracana and growing up in the 1950s and reading football annuals you read about 200,000 plus crowds here.
"You can reel off the name of five or six stadiums in the world where everyone would like to be able to say they had played, or in my case coached, a team there.
"It will be very nice for us to tick the Maracana off that list."
England vice-captain Frank Lampard was also excited at the prospect of leading out the Three Lions for this game, having grown up hearing stories about the magic of the Maracana.
The Chelsea midfielder said: "As a young English fan growing up, we had Wembley which is a famous stadium and the Maracana is another famous stadium.
"I grew up hearing about there being 125,000 people inside and John Barnes scored an iconic goal for England in the stadium.
"Brazil is one of the homes of football. In England, we say that England is the home but I'm sure Brazil would feel that their history and what they've done will put them top.
"It's a new stadium and I was around when Wembley became a new stadium, but the name still remains so that's why young players will know and want to carry on playing there."
The match kicks-off at 4pm on Sunday in Brazil (8pm BST) and is live on ITV.