The new stadium's first match was an exhibition between Friends of Ronaldo and Friends of Bebeto, former Brazil teammates.
"It looks amazing," said former Brazil star striker Ronaldo. "I'm happy to see the stadium ready again. The Maracana is a symbol of this country."
The workers who helped renovate the famed venue and their families were invited to witness the first test event at the new Maracana, which will be home to three Confederations Cup matches in June, including the final.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and other guests were among the nearly 30,000 people attending the inauguration, which came after a series of delays, criticisms and protests.
A few hundred people took the opportunity to hold a peaceful protest against the stadium's privatization plan, saying it will give the government much less money than it invested in the venue and will lead to the demolitions of an indigenous museum, a public school and some athletics facilities in the area. On Friday, riot police removed a small group of indigenous people at the abandoned museum.
Maracana was initially expected to be completed last December, but the need to change the venue's roof forced the deadline to be extended into 2013. Rio organizers also missed an April 15 deadline set for all Confederations Cup stadiums.
The nearly $500 million spent to renovate the venue also attracted criticism, especially after the stadium had already gone through a significant face-lift before the 2007 Pan American Games. It had also been upgraded before FIFA's inaugural Club World Cup in 2000.
Each of the nearly 5,000 workers received tickets for themselves and their families, and before the match local media reported that some of the workers were selling the tickets for about $50.
In an unofficial opening ceremony, local artists sang popular songs and the ceremonial kickoff was done by of one of the stadium workers.
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