It’s a strange partnership, but Brazilian football legend Pelé and Shell Oil have teamed up to launch the world’s first player-powered community football field–right in the heart of a Rio de Janeiro slum. Built for the Morro da Mineira community, the innovative sports facility is part of Shell’s ‘Make The Future’ project, which supports ideas that “come from anywhere.” The local pitch was refurbished by Shell using 200 high-tech, underground tiles that capture the players’ kinetic energy, which is then combined with solar energy to power the pitch’s lights and provide a safe and brightly lit community space.

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The Morro da Mineira project is part of the Shell #makethefuture program, which aims to inspire young people and entrepreneurs to look at science and engineering as a career choice. The initiative also encourages youth to apply their minds to developing renewable energy solutions. André Araujo, Shell Brazil Country Chair, said: “By 2050, the world will be using 75% more energy than it does now. Meeting that extra demand will require a set of energy sources – and a new generation of scientists and engineers with the passion, ideas and innovation to develop it.

“The pitch proves the potential and power when scientists and entrepreneurs focus their efforts to develop creative and innovative energy solutions. By tapping into the world’s passion and interest in football, we aim to capture the attention of youngsters around the world so they think differently about energy and the opportunity of science studies and careers.”

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At the opening of the stadium, football legend Pele said: “Football is Brazil’s biggest passion and the sport has gone through so much technological innovation since the last time I played. This new pitch shows the extraordinary things possible when science and sport come together. The Morro da Mineira community will now be able to use this sports facility as a safe gathering place – all thanks to the floodlights powered by the community’s football players.” For more information, visit

+ Royal Dutch Shell

Via CBS News