Top 10 Facts about Brazil Living Soccer Life

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When we talk of Soccer, Brazil’s name is mentioned invariably. As we all know that FIFA 2014 is being held in Brazil. Brazil is one of the favorite nations when people bid on their winning teams.  The game of football will not be same without Brazil, there is no doubt about it. It is a sport that enables the players and fans both alike; an opportunity to develop their sensitivity and creativity.

10. Football Is Brazil’s Culture

Football is a passion Brazilians live with and refer to their motherland as “o Pais do Futebol” – “the country of football”. More than 10,000 Brazilians are involved in playing the sport professionally globally. Football has huge impact on Brazilian culture or should we say that Brazilian culture is to play football! Though the Brazilian football clubs may reflect the elitist view of the game, it is played with equal passion on streets by people of all socio-economic strata. As mentioned by Mauricio Murad in his article- in Brazil, “..football is more than just a game for the masses, it is a metaphor of social life par excellence”. There is no Brazilian without football in him and there is no football without Brazil.

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9. Brazilian players’ standing in World of Football

Though Pelé is considered football God in Brazil, all of the leading players of Brazilian team are famous in football world, Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima, known mostly as Ronaldo, is considered “ the phenomenon”, and is thought of as the most complete striker in last thirty years. Neymar , Brazilian forward is one of the most popular names in current Brazilian team and plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona in La Liga and gets more endorsements than Ronaldo the portugese player inspite though the latter may be more loved by camera! The names go on from Garrincha, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Romário, Rivaldo, Ronaldo Luis, Ronaldinho and Kaká are some of the names. These stars go on to sign on endorsement contracts worth millions of euros.

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8. Football mania!

Football is almost like a religion in Brazil. It won’t be an overstatement to say that Brazil eats and breaths football. The workers take break from their normal schedule to watch the game, so much so, that banks close for three hours before the start of matches for the workers to prepare for the game, offices close, deserted streets, Supreme court proceedings are postponed! Singing in chorus, the Brazilians chant “Sou Brasileiro” – “Eu sou brasileiro com muito orgulho, com muito amor….” (“ I’m Brazilian with lots of pride, lots of love….”). At games the supporters switch the Brazilian with the name of the team they are hailing for. (image-defendaseudinheiro.com)

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7. Pelé – the football God!

Brazil and Soccer’s relationship is not complete without mentioning the name of Pelé and knowing about him. Though retired,Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known as Pelé, is a Brazilian football player and was instrumental in helping Brazil win three of the five world cups and is listed in Guiness World Records for having scored most career goals in football, 1283 goals in 1363 games. He was awarded World Player of the Century in 1999, by IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics).. The same year Pelé was elected Football Player of the Century by France Football magazine. Accolades kept rolling in and Pelé was not only elected Athlete of the Century by IOC but also appeared in Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Pelé is rightly known as “The Black Pearl”, The King of Football”, “The Kind Pelé” or “The King” and has rightly received FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur in 2013 for his outstanding performance and achievements in football globally. The following Stamp commemorates Pelé’s 1000 goals.

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6. Football Clubs in Brazil

Since, inadequate transport within the country made it difficult to hold national competitions, inter-state tournaments became much more important giving rise to football clubs in Brazil. Now, though, the national tournaments are held, state tournaments continue to demand their importance and the inter-state rivalries stay intense. There are more than 400 such clubs in Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF – onfederação Brasileira de Futebol)founded on June 8, 1914. Brazilian Football Confederation was founded, exactly 100 years before Brazil is getting a chance to host the FIFA.  The current Campeonato Brasileiro also known as Brasileiräo, is considered one of the strongest leagues in the world.  Santos and Palmeiras are the most successful clubs of Campeonato Brasileiro, winning the competition eight times each. The first sports club was founded in 1888, São Paulo Athletic Club. There are quite a few women’s football clubs in existence as well, though not nearly as many as Men’s.

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5. Football and Politics

Football is so ingrained Brazilian culture that even the elections revolve around them! Elections are generally held in the same year of the World Cup bringing people together with nationalistic feelings. Formers Brazilian footballers get elected at times to legislative positions. Political parties take advantage of general surge in nationalism and cash in by nominating football players as their candidates. Recently, two members of Brazil team who played in World Cup in 1994 have had a change of career into politics. Barcelona stricker, Romario joined and won joining Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and Bebeto from Pitch to governing Democratic Workers’ Party (PDT) . ( Image- http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/10/29/football.politics.romario.bebeto/)

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4. Father of Football in Brazil

It was thought that soccer was introduced to Brazil by Charles Miller, an Englishman; but research by Richard McBrearty, the museum’s curator, uncovered the contribution by Thomas Donohue. It was Donohue who after being employed in a factory in Bangu, near Rio de Janeiro, wanted to start a team himself when he arrived there. The first football match in Brazil was played on a Sunday in April 1894, six months before Miller got a chance to start a team in Sao Paolo. (Image- Thomas Donohue from blogspot.com)

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3. Style Vs Might

Brazilians are often not considered big and strong physically like many Europeans but they have gone on to show that technical ability and style are just as important in football, as in most other games. Dribbling (an art to maneuver the ball with your feet) is an essential part of their winning style. Quite a few of their players like Pelé, Garrincha and Ronaldinho have been excellent dribblers. The new coach Mano Menezes is bringing back the style of dribbling to win the game with the help of accomplished players like Neymar, Ganso , Lucas and others. This creative style is something that Brazil can always rely upon to stay in top position in world soccer. (Image- Neymar dribbling, 2013 H1n)

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2. Women’s Football team in Brazil

Women’s Football is not as popular in Brazil as Men’s football. In Brazil, disenchantment from women basically applies to all sports, so much so, that they were banned by National Sports Council from playing in most sports until 1979. Due to lack of interest and financial support, participation is mostly limited to state competitions, though there are Women’s Football clubs in existence as well. Marta and Christiane are two well-known accomplished players among others in soccer world. Marta was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2006,2007,2008,2009 and 2010. Five consecutive years! Brazil’s women soccer team has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Women’s soccer team has won Silver medal twice in 2004 and 2008 and is the most successful team in its sport in South American. They failed to make their mark in Olympics 2012. As per most recent ranking posted by FIFA, on Jun 20th 2014, Brazil’s Women Soccer Team ranks as sixth in the world, after USA, Germany, Japan, France and Sweden. (Image: Marta at Union at Earthquakes, 2010)

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1. Brazil holds the record number of Wins in World Cup


Soccer is the most popular sport in Brazil and the Brazilian national Football team has won the FIFA World Cup tournament a record five times in 1958, 1962, 1970 , 1994 and 2002. Not only this but it has the honor of being the only team to have succeeded in having qualified for each and every World Cup competition. Brazilian team is ranked sixth in the world as per FIFA update most recently in June, 2014. (image- Brazilian soccer team 2014)

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Conclusion

To conclude this, as rightly said by Mauricio Murad, “The starting point of all human endeavour must be equality of opportunity, the end, however, is victory won through merit and skill.”

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